It’s difficult to believe that we’re nearing the one-year anniversary of the 95th Academy Awards, during which Will Smith famously slapped Chris Rock on stage and then hurled expletives from his seat. The incident occurred after Rock made a joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith has since apologized for his actions, while Rock has said little about it except for the odd jab in a stand-up routine.
However, in his most recent Netflix special, Rock finally addressed the slap, blaming Smith and Pinkett Smith for their “entanglements,” among other things. Chris Rock performed his newest special, Selective Outrage, on Saturday in Baltimore, Maryland. While it was announced this week that Rock would finally speak out about the slap, it was unclear how far he would go.
The 58-year-old comedian only alluded to the incident early in the show, saying that “everybody who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.” He also made a reference to it while criticizing Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z, saying, “the last thing I need is another mad rapper, according to the Cinemablend.
After an hour, however, the Bigger & Blacker performer finally let go. He started joking that the audience was aware of his encounter with “Shug Smith,” and when asked if he still feels pain, he responded bluntly:
“Y’all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Shug Smith. Everybody knows, everybody fucking knows. Yes, it happened. I got smacked about a year ago… I got smacked at the fucking Oscars by this motherfucker People are like ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts! I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears.”
Chris Rock, who chose not to press charges against Will Smith that night, went into better detail about the televised confrontation. He then compared his own size to Smith’s and illustrated his point by mentioning some of his and Smith’s previous roles:
“I know you can’t tell on camera [but] Will Smith is significantly bigger than me. … Will Smith is shirtless in his movies. If you see me in a movie getting open heart surgery, I got on a sweater. Will Smith play Muhammad Ali in a movie, you think I auditioned for that part? He played Muhammed Ali, I played Pookie in New Jack City. … I played a piece of corn. Shit, even in animated movies this motherfucker is bigger. I’m a zebra, he’s a shark. What the fuck, man?”
While many have criticized the I, Robot star for his actions, others, such as Jimmy Kimmel, have praised Chris Rock for not retaliating. During the show, he stated, “I got parents, and you know what my parents taught me – don’t fight in front of white people!”