Chris Rock finally addressed publicly that he was beaten by actor Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars in what some are calling the “best brutal takedown” in history.
During his new Netflix stand-up special that premiered live Saturday night, Rock verbally hit back at Smith a year after the incident that saw Smith expelled from the Academy.
In a nearly two-minute segment, Rock fired at Smith’s decision to punch him on stage at the awards show after he and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith were made the butt of the joke about her infidelity.
“Everyone called him ab**ch, and who is he hitting? Me,” Rock joked to a crowd, including a friend of Meghan Markle’s who was seen laughing backstage, according to Page six.
The comedian also took aim at the former ‘Suits’ actress during his special, saying she was ‘acting totally stupid’ for not realizing that the royal family are the ‘OGs of racism’.
Chris Rock finally addressed publicly that he was beaten by actor Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars in what some are calling the “best brutal takedown” in history
During his new Netflix stand-up special that premiered live Saturday night, Rock hit back at Smith a year after the incident that got Smith banned from the Academy.
Among those seen laughing in the audience during the special was Janina Gavankar who was seen chuckling at jokes Rock made about Will Smith and her own boyfriend, Meghan Markle.
Rock’s tirade has since been hailed on social media as “the perfect/best way” to get back at Smith for the moment that changed both of their careers.
The comedian made spectators and live viewers wait until the last ten minutes of “Chris Rock: Selective Outrage” before addressing the clap.
“You all know what happened to me when I got hit by Suge Smith,” the comedian joked. Rock said, “It still hurts. I’ve got ‘Summertime’ in my ears.”
The blow came last year after Rock made a joke about Pinkett-Smith’s bald head caused by alopecia.
Rock had joked that Pinkett-Smith rocked a “G.I. Jane” look, leading her husband to storm the stage and slap him, then repeat: “Keep my wife’s name out of your mouth!”
On his new stand-up special, Rock joked about his struggles the following year.
‘Anyone who says ‘words hurt’ has never been punched in the face,” he said.
“But I’m not a victim, honey. You’ll never see me cry at Oprah or Gayle,” Rock said. He joked that he “took that shit as (Manny) Pacquaio.”
The crowd in the audience laughed out loud as those at home expressed their views via social media.
Like most comedians, I am continuously grateful for Chris Rock’s existence. Thank you comic gods,” fellow comedian Jim Gaffigan wrote.
‘Listen to me when I tell you. THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MIC DROP OF ALL TIME. NUF RESPECT,” one Twitter user wrote.
That user referenced the mic drop at the end of his special when responding to those asking why he didn’t hit Smith back, saying, “You know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people.”
Fellow comedian Jim Gaffigan thanked the comedy gods for Chris Rock after his special
Twitter users cheered the comedian on Saturday night for his hits
“Good for you Rock,” one person wrote, praising the comedian
The internet quickly turned bits of the stand-up special into memes
“Chris Rock hit Will Smith in the perfect/best way,” said one Twitter user who quoted a tweet that included an excerpt from the stand-up special.
“This is someone still processing what happened,” said another user. “He knows he just punched and hit Smith hard. But in his eyes, as he bows, you can see the emotion, the anger, the pain. Good for you Rock.’
“Chris Rock just hit Will Smith onstage in the right way,” said one person.
However, not everyone on social media has sided with the comedian.
Others took to Twitter to express their frustration that Rock has repeatedly “knocked off” black women, including Meghan Markle and Pinkett-Smith.
Chris Rock called Jada Pinkett-Smith ab**ch and said Meghan Markle was playing the race card. Knock down black women. Clowny,” wrote one verified user.
“I want to ask Rock, “Do you feel better afterwards?” Let me be clear… I am NOT excusing Smith’s actions at the Oscars. However, for me, I will always know that Rock missed a HUGE opportunity to be the bigger man in this situation and learn a valuable lesson. He wasted it,” wrote Variety editor Clayton Davis.
“I think he should let this go, I know what happened to him was bad, but it looks like one brother knocks another brother down while he is already on the ground. There’s nothing uplifting about this,” said one.
Not all social media supported the jokes Rock made during his stand-up special
Some said he should “let this go” and move on with the punch
One person said Rock ‘lost’ his chance to be the bigger man
Among those in the audience who did find it funny was reportedly Meghan Markle’s longtime girlfriend Janina Gavankar.
According to Page sixGavankar was backstage for Saturday’s live taping, watching Rock joke about her friend.
Sources told the outlet that Gavankar, 42, was with her boyfriend Dave Chapelle to watch the performance at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theater.
“Janina seemed to enjoy the show very much, she got up from the TV screens and laughed,” said an eyewitness.
Rock joked about Meghan and Prince Harry during his set, specifically about their interview with Oprah and how a royal family had reportedly expressed concern about their children’s skin color.
On Saturday, Rock said the former actress was just dealing with “in law.’
Like, who is this girl Meghan Markle? Seems like a nice lady – she just complains,” Rock said.
“Like, didn’t she win the fair-skinned lottery?” Rock joked as he called the royal family the “OGs of racism.”
The comedian said Markle was “acting totally stupid” for going on Oprah and saying she didn’t know how racist the royal family could be.
“That’s the royal family, you didn’t google those bastards? They are the original racists. They invented colonialism,” he joked.
“They invested in slavery like it was Shark Tank,” he continued.
It’s unclear whether Gavankar laughed at jokes aimed at her friend, but Page Six reported that she had attended other shows where the material was recited.
Rock joked about Meghan and Prince Harry during his set, specifically about their interview with Oprah
The comedian said Markle was ‘acting totally stupid’ for going on Oprah and saying she didn’t know how racist the royal family could be
After the 2021 Sussexes interview with Oprah, Gavankar (seen here at Meghan and Harry’s wedding) went on television stations across the UK to defend her boyfriend
Gavankar is an old friend of Markle’s and attended the royal wedding in 2018
Gavankar is an old friend of Markle’s and attended the royal wedding in 2018.
After the 2021 Sussexes interview with Oprah, the “Vampire Diaries” actress took to television stations across the UK to defend her friend.
“While their ‘memories may differ’, ours don’t because we went through it with them,” Gavankar said at the time.
“And there’s a lot of emails and texts to back that up,” she said on “This Morning.”