This weekend, Netflix will show its first live-streamed show ever, and what better way to celebrate than for Chris Rock to finally talk about Will Smith slapping him at the Oscars?
Smith walked on stage when Rock was hosting and slapped him in the face for making a joke about Jada Pinkett-shaved Smith’s head. That was almost a year ago.
Rock had made a joke about Jada being “G.I. Jane,” which made everyone in the crowd laugh, including Smith.
But a few minutes later, the Hitch actor joined Rock on stage and hit him in the face, telling him not to say his wife’s name again.
Smith was banned from the Oscars for ten years and had to quit the Academy as a result of the scandal.
This year, the Academy Awards even formed a “crisis team” to make sure that something like what happened last year, doesn’t happen again.
Smith did apologize to Rock in public five months after the incident, but Rock has never talked about it in depth or forgiven Smith. He has only briefly mentioned it in his stand-up routines.
Now, though, Rock is finally going to talk about the slap in a test pilot for Netflix’s first-ever live stream.
And the timing couldn’t be better, since the stream will happen exactly one week before this year’s Academy Awards, which Jimmy Kimmel, who is hosting this year, is sure to make jokes about slapping.
Last year, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle went on a world tour together, and they took turns making fun of Will Smith.
Chappelle said that Smith had been doing “an impression of a perfect man for 30 years,” but Rock said that he had been hit for what was probably the “nicest joke” he had ever told.
In the middle of a back-and-forth, Chappelle told Rock:
At least you got smacked by someone of repute,
to which Rock replied:
I got smacked by the softest n**** that ever rapped.
It’s not clear how much of Rock’s one-hour Netflix set from the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore will be about the Smith incident.
But if you look at the name of the comedy special, Selective Outrage, you can tell that fans are hoping for a lot of content about the slap.
A source says that Rock has been talking about “selective outrage” in his recent stand-up shows. He usually talks about what he thinks really made Smith slap him and why he didn’t retaliate.
The vice president of stand-up and comedy formats at Netflix, Robbie Praw, had this to say about the upcoming special:
Watching live on Netflix is a real change in the construct that we have with our members.
Praw said it was just a coincidence that Rock’s comedy special aired a week before the Oscars.
It really was a factor of when Chris felt like he was ready and when the technology was ready,
I know you’re looking for a more fun answer than that, but that’s really what it came down to.
The live-streamed event with Chris Rock will be shown on Netflix on March 4 at 10 p.m. ET (3 a.m. GMT).