One year after the incident at the 2022 Oscars Awards, Chris Rock finally hit back at the opportunity to bring the situation to light during his recent comedy special “Chris Rock: Selective Outrage”. Even though some time has passed since last year’s slap scandal, the wound still seems very fresh in recent news. To summarize the series of events that took place in case anyone missed the memo, Chris Rock aimed some jokes towards Will Smith’s wife (Jada Pinkett-Smith) who was then yelled at by Will Smith, who proceeded to walk up on stage and strike Rock across the face.
Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted this year’s Awards, didn’t hold back his punches about the issue and has been a huge advocate on Rock’s behalf. The Oscars host has been known to call out the elephant in the room and has no issue with taking the gloves off with bluntly directed jokes toward individuals.
During his opening monologue, Kimmel opened the show with, “We want you to have fun, feel safe, and, most importantly, we want me to feel safe,” Kimmel said. “If anything, unpredictable or violent happens during the show, sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug,” in reference to that Smith was applauded with a standing ovation for best actor just moments after he assaulted Rock.
Although there are quite a few things on the radar that deserve attention, such as Hollywood’s reaction to the event, let’s focus on Rock's take one year after the incident. In his new Netflix comedy special, Rock finally broke his silence on the matter and even jokes about how he “took that hit like Pacquiao.”
“It still hurts. IT STILL HURTS. I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears,” said Rock. “I’m not a victim, baby. You will never see me on Oprah crying. You will never see it. Never going to happen.”
While many were torn on who they backed, some in favor of Smith of defending his wife. And those that despised his actions of overreacting and crossing the line. One of the main topics that have been the main focus, should Rock have “hit back”? Many individuals praised Rock for taking the high ground and being the bigger man. As well as leaving it alone and refusing to press charges. So, was this Rock’s “Slap Stage” moment for swooping down low and making digs at Smith? People have discussed and feel as if Rock lost a sense of self-character by doing so. Or was he simply just defending himself in a rightful manner?