Chris Rock will finally address Will Smith’s Oscar’s slap nearly a year later as he prepares for his upcoming Netflix special.
The show, titled Chris Rock: Selective Outrage, will be the first ever livestream broadcast by the streaming service when it airs on March 4, at 9:30pm ET.
Rock, 58, will be joined by Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld and Leslie Jones during the performance.
‘If you were waiting to see Rock on tour address the infamous Will Smith slap situation… the comedian is waiting to spill his humorous take on it on his live Netflix stand-up special,’ a source close to the broadcast told Page Six.
The insider said Rock has been working with ‘veteran comedy writers’ to ensure his jokes about the slap are ‘solid and funny.’
While another said: ‘People need to tune in till the last joke, they will not be disappointed.’
The slap heard round the world: Smith stormed the stage on March 27 to smack his old pal after he told a poor-taste joke about Jada Pinkett Smith
The special will be filmed at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore. It airs one week before the Academy Awards that go out on March 12.
Other comedians who will appear on the special include David Spade, Arsenio Hall and JB Smoove. NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is also slated to appear.
The livestream comes as Netflix begins experimenting with advertising and cracking down on password sharing. Last year, the company confirmed that it would begin livestreaming events.
Users who tune in late to the broadcast will be able to rewind to the start and jump back to live. The show will also remain in users’ Continue Watching section if they tune in while it’s broadcasting live.
This is Rock’s second Netflix stand-up special. His first, Chris Rock: Tamborine, debuted in February 2018.
‘Selective Outrage’ is a phrase that Rock has used repeatedly in recent shows when describing the Smith slap, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A WSJ reporter said that at a warm-up show, Rock dedicated around five minutes to Smith and the slap, linking it between jokes about the phrase ‘victim’ and ‘the dating habits of women of different ages.’
‘Chris is a really sharp commentator. That’s why pundits will refer to and quote things he has said. But that’s not the same thing 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.
A Netflix rep, meanwhile, said the timing of the airing of the special, a week before the Oscars, is just a coincidence.
Rock was attacked after made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, that referenced the 1997 film G.I. Jane in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head.
It was unclear whether Rock was aware that Pinkett Smith has a condition that causes hair loss.
Rock barely spoke about the slap during his Chris Rock Ego Death World Tour, which took place in the immediate aftermath.
Rock barely spoke about the slap during his Chris Rock Ego Death World Tour which took place in the immediate aftermath
After the slap, Smith yelled at Rock: ‘Keep my wife’s name out your mouth’
Rock in shock after being assaulted on stage by Smith
Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith had recently revealed that she was suffering from alopecia and had shaved her head. Rock joked during his hosting set that she looked like ‘G.I. Jane’
During one stop 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 did the impression of a perfect person for 30 years, and he ripped his mask off and showed us he was as ugly as the rest of us,’ Rock told his audience.
‘There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment,’ Smith said in the under-six minute video posted online in July.
‘I am deeply remorseful and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself.’ To Rock, he said: ‘I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk,’ Smith added.
Smith also apologized to Rock’s family and especially his mother, Rosalie, who was horrified to see her son hurt and told US Weekly: ‘When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me.’
Smith also apologized to Tony Rock, Chris’ younger brother.
‘I didn’t realize how many people got hurt in that moment,’ Smith said.
In the video, Smith also apologized to his family ‘for the heat that I brought on all of us’ and his fellow Oscar nominees to have ‘stolen and tarnished your moment.’
He mentioned 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 slap. 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 a choice on my own.’
Following the altercation, the motion picture 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 line and I was wrong.
‘I’m sorry really isn’t sufficient,’ Smith said in the video, adding that he is hurting because he hasn’t lived up to fans’ expectations. ‘Disappointing people is my central trauma.’
Many had speculated that Smith would appear on camera to discuss the slap first on Pinkett Smith’s online series Red Table Talk, but he chose to do it in a social media video post without any follow-up questions or surprise queries.
Earlier this month, Smith made a thinly-veiled quip about the slap in a TikTok video.
The Emancipation star made light of the situation as he jumped on a TikTok trend which encourages users to ask an inanimate object what it thinks of you.
The original video sees TikToker Sam Rossi state: ‘This works because everything has consciousness.
‘You can pick up a pen and ask it how it sees you or what it thinks of you and you will get an answer in your mind 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 picks up his Best Actor Academy Award, which he won on the night for his role in King Richard, frowns and starts to mouth a question before the clip ends.
Fans were quick to notice the link between the clip and the Oscars slap, with one writing: ‘Hahaha that is gold!!!!!!’ while a second typed: ‘Bravo! This is classic Will Smith! This is fabulous. Hahaha Always a comedian and we adore you.’
Another wrote: ‘lol nicely done. if you can’t make fun of yourself, yer doing it wrong’ while another penned: ‘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 slap, Rock told a crowd in Boston’s Wilbur Theatre: ‘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’ll be serious. It’ll be funny, but right now I’m going to tell some jokes.’
Rock and Chappelle backstage at their show in Liverpool
Rock, 57, received a standing ovation from the Boston crowd.
‘Let me be all misty and s***,’ he said, with tears in his eyes. ‘I don’t have a bunch of shit to say about that, so if you came here for that…’ he said, and paused. ‘I had written a whole show before this weekend.’
During a show in Los Angeles with Dave Chappelle during the summer of 2022, coming days before Chappelle was also attacked stage, the pair joked about the incidents.
‘At least you got smacked by someone of repute,’ Chappelle said. ‘I got smacked by the softest n**** – that ever rapped,’ Rock responded.