Chris Rock will finally get in on Will Smith’s Oscar clinch almost a year later, as he preps for his upcoming Netflix special.
The show, titled Chris Rock: Selective Outrage, will be the first-ever live stream to be broadcast by the streaming service, airing March 4 at 9:30 p.m. ET.
The 58-year-old Rock will be joined by Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld and Leslie Jones during the performance.
“If you were waiting to see Rock on tour talk about the infamous Will Smith slap situation… the comedian is waiting to spread his humorous take on it during his live Netflix stand-up special,” a source close to the broadcast. Page six.
The insider said Rock has been working with “experienced comedy writers” to make sure his slap jokes are “solid and funny.”
While another said, “People should tune in to the last joke, they won’t be disappointed.”
The punch heard around the world: Smith stormed the stage on March 27 to punch his old friend after telling a lame joke about Jada Pinkett Smith
The special will be filmed at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore. It will air a week before the Academy Awards, which will be presented on March 12.
Other comedians who will appear on the special include David Spade, Arsenio Hall and JB Smoove. NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will also appear.
The live stream comes as Netflix begins experimenting with ads and cracking down on password sharing. Last year, the company confirmed they would begin livestreaming events.
Users who tune into the broadcast late can rewind to the beginning and jump back to live. The show will also remain in the user’s Continue Watching section if they tune in while it is broadcasting live.
“Selective Outrage” is a phrase Rock has repeatedly used on recent shows to describe the Smith slap, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A WSJ reporter said that during a warm-up show, Rock devoted about five minutes to Smith and the punch, linking jokes about the phrase “victim” to “the dating habits of women of different ages.”
Chris is a very sharp commentator. That’s why pundits will refer to and quote from things he said. But that’s not the same as him talking about his deepest dark feelings. He’s not like that,” Noam Dworman, owner of the New York City-based Comedy Cellar, told The Journal.
While a Netflix rep said the timing of the special’s airing, a week before the Oscars, is just a coincidence.
Rock was attacked after making a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, that referenced the 1997 film GI Jane in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head.
It was unclear if Rock knew that Pinkett Smith has a condition that causes hair loss.
Rock barely spoke of the blow during his Chris Rock Ego Death World Tour that took place in the immediate aftermath.
Rock barely spoke of the blow during his Chris Rock Ego Death World Tour that took place in the immediate aftermath
After the blow, Smith yelled at Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your mouth.”
Rock in shock after being attacked by Smith on stage
Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith had recently revealed that she suffered from alopecia and had shaved her head. Rock joked during his hosting set that she looked like “GI Jane.”
During a layover in the UK, Rock addressed Will Smith’s widely criticized apology video in which the Oscar winner said, “Words hurt.”
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face. Will spent 30 years giving the impression of being a perfect person, and he ripped off his mask and showed us he was just as ugly as the rest of us,” Rock told his audience.
“There’s no part of me that thinks this was the right way to behave at the time,” Smith said in the sub-six-minute video posted online in July.
“I am deeply sorry and I try to repent without being ashamed.” To Rock, he said, “I’ll be here when you’re ready to talk,” Smith added.
This is Rock’s second Netflix stand-up special. His first, Chris Rock: Tamborine, debuted in February 2018.
Smith also apologized to Rock’s family and especially to his mother, Rosalie, who was shocked to see her son injured and told US Weekly, “When he hit Chris, he hit all of us.” He really beat me.’ Smith also apologized to Tony Rock, Chris’ younger brother.
“I didn’t realize how many people were injured at the time,” Smith said.
In the video, Smith also apologized to his family “for the heat I’ve brought on all of us” and his fellow Oscar nominees for “stealing and tarnishing your moment.”
He called Questlove by name; it was the musician-director’s documentary win for “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” that was interrupted by the blow. Rock was on stage to present the Documentary Award.
Smith also said his wife did nothing to encourage his slap. “Jada had nothing to do with it,” he said. “I made my own choice.”
After the altercation, the film academy banned Smith from attending the Oscars or any other academy event for 10 years.
Smith apologized to Rock in a statement after the Oscars, saying he was “out of step and I was wrong.”
“I’m really sorry isn’t enough,” Smith said in the video, adding that he’s hurt for not living up to the fans’ impressions. “Disappointing people is my central trauma.”
Many had speculated that Smith would appear on camera to discuss the blow first in Pinkett Smith’s online series Red Table Talk, but he opted to do it in a social media video post with no follow-up questions or surprise questions.
Earlier this month, Smith made a thinly veiled joke about the slap in a TikTok video.
The Emancipation star made light of the situation when he jumped on a TikTok trend that encourages users to ask an inanimate object what it thinks of you.
In the original video, TikToker’s Sam Rossi says, “This works because everything has consciousness.”
‘You can pick up a pen and ask him how he sees you or what he thinks of you and you get an answer in your head from your intuition. You can ask your car what it thinks of you, you can even ask money what it thinks of you.’
In the video, Smith receives his Best Actor Academy Award, which he received on the night for his role in King Richard, frowns and begins to ask a question before the clip ends.
Fans quickly noticed the connection between the clip and the Oscars clap, with one writing, “Hahaha that’s gold!!!!!!” while a second typed, “Bravo! This is classic Will Smith! This is fantastic. Hahaha Always a comedian and we love you.’
Another wrote: ‘lol nicely done. if you can’t fool yourself, you’re doing it wrong,” while another wrote, “Oscar: ‘I’m not mad… I’m just disappointed.’
One follower wrote, “Redemption.. This summer’s blockbuster starring Will Smith. “It’s not what you say, but what you do!”
A week after the blow, Rock told a crowd at Boston’s Wilbur Theater, “How was YOUR weekend?”
“I’m still processing what happened, so at some point I’ll talk about that shit,” Rock told the crowd. ‘It will be serious. It’ll be funny, but now I’m going to tell some jokes.’
Rock and Chappelle backstage at their show in Liverpool on Thursday night
Rock, 57, received a standing ovation from the Boston crowd.
“Let me be all foggy and stupid,” he said, tears in his eyes. “I don’t have a damn thing to say about that, so if that’s what you came here for—” he said and paused. “I wrote a whole show for this weekend.”
At a Los Angeles show with Dave Chappelle in the summer of 2022, days before Chappelle was assaulted onstage, the pair joked about the incidents.
“At least you were beaten by someone of repute,” Chappelle said. “I was beaten by the softest n**** – that ever rapped,” Rock replied.