As we approach the first anniversary of the infamous Oscars “Slapgate” incident between host and comedian Chris Rock and actor Will Smith, the former took to the stage to get his revenge in comedy form and explained why he didn’t retaliate. The roast occurred during Rock’s history-making show Chris Rock: Selective Outrage, which headlined the first-ever live broadcast on Netflix.
As expected, much of Rock’s stand-up material for the evening alluded to the incident. “They say, ‘words hurt.’ Anybody who says ‘words hurt’ has never been punched in the face,” he joked early on. Eventually, Rock addressed the aftermath of the slap from Oscar-winner Smith.
“You all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith. Everybody knows. Everybody fucking knows,” Rock said. “I got smacked like a year ago… and people are like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts. I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears.”
“I’m not a victim, baby,” he claimed. “You will never see me on Oprah or Gayle [King] crying. You will never see it… It’s never going to happen. Fuck that shit; I took that shit like [Manny] Pacquiao.”
Addressing whether it hurt, Rock added: “Will Smith is significantly bigger than me. We are not the same size. Will Smith does movies with his shirt off. You’ve never seen me do a movie with my shirt off. Will Smith played Muhammad Ali in a movie. You think I auditioned for that part? I played Pookie in New Jack City. I played a piece of corn in Pootie Tang.”
Towards the end of his set, Rock revealed that people had asked him why he didn’t hit Smith back that evening. He gave his comedic answer to close the set.
“A lot of people go, ‘Chris, how come you didn’t do nothing back?'” Rock said. “‘How come you didn’t do nothing back that night?’ Because I got parents, that’s why. Because I was raised. I got parents. And you know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people.” Rock then mic-dropped before leaving the stage to a standing ovation.