After a year of silence, comedian Chris Rock finally addressed the globally renowned incident in which actor Will Smith slapped him on stage at the 2022 Academy Awards.
At the opening of his live stream show in Baltimore, Rock said, “I’m going to try to do a show tonight without offending nobody. I’m going to try my best because you never know who might get triggered. People always say words hurt. Anybody who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”
In the newly released Netflix special, “Selective Outrage,” Rock addressed his incident through his stand-up routine. He said that he is “not a victim, baby.”
Rock also said, “You all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith. It still hurts. I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears. But I’m not a victim, baby. You’ll never see me on Oprah or Gayle crying… I took that hit like Pacquiao.”
Last year at the Academy Awards, Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith (Smith’s wife). In an unexpected moment of conflict, Smith suddenly appeared on stage and slapped the presenter.
During the evening, Smith accepted the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams, the father of tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams in the biopic “King Richard”. He then tearfully apologized to his fellow nominees and Academy members. However, he neglected to apologize or even mention Rock in his address.
After the incident, Smith officially cut ties with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the company responsible for orchestrating the Oscars. And the Academy banned him from attending any academy-related events or programs, including The Oscars itself. This prohibition would last a full 10 years.