Over a year after actor Will Smith slapped Chris Rock over a joke the latter made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair during the Academy Awards, Rock finally opened up about the incident in his latest Netflix special, “Selective Outrage,” which debuted on March 4.
Rock talked about how, leading up to the slap, Will Smith was already dealing with enough pain from knowing his wife had an affair with their son’s friend while also dealing with the public calling him derogatory names after they aired all of their dirty laundry on the internet.
“We’ve all been cheated on. Everybody in here has been cheated on. None of us have ever been interviewed by the person who cheated on us on television. None of us. It’s like ‘Hey I was (having an affair), how did that make you feel?’” Rock asked mockingly while holding a microphone up like a reporter talking to the person they interview.
Rock then added that despite all of that, the guy who Will Smith lashes out on is him, which Rock found to be pretty low.
While Rock did not hold back on his thoughts, he humanized Smith for what he was going through before it all happened, mentioning that he reached out to Smith after Jada Pinkett-Smith’s affair had been publicized. However, since then, the roles have been reversed.
Smith wants to make amends with Rock
It appears that Smith and Rock are still not on speaking terms since the slap, though Smith has reached out hoping to bury the hatchet.
People Magazine reported that Smith has tried to make up with Rock after slapping him during the Oscars, but to no avail.
According to People, Will Smith “has ‘felt terrible for so long’ about smacking Rock at the Oscars. “He’s tried unsuccessfully to make amends in the best way he could with Chris,” People added that Rock’s words on both Smith and Pinkett-Smith “may have widened the rift even further,” but that has yet to be confirmed.
It’ll likely take time. This was the first time Rock gave his actual thoughts after letting the incident simmer for over a year. It may just take a little longer for the two of them to make up.
‘Selective Outrage’ has divisive response
Since Rock’s new special was released on Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes has accumulated 16 reviews total, which has led to a score of 50%. The critics’ consensus on the site said the following about the special.
“Chris Rock holds nothing back when dishing on the infamous slap heard around the world, but his ‘Selective Outrage’ is mostly an undercooked routine full of jokes that skew more stale than relevant.”
While critics were divided on the special, it appears audiences were not, as the special has had an 83% rating, indicating that most who watched the special enjoyed it, but perhaps those who didn’t also didn’t consider leaving a rating.
With Will Smith slated to appear in future movies like “I Am Legend 2,” and with Rock’s reputation as one of America’s most popular comics, odds are this won’t be the last time “The Slap” will get brought up by either party.