Chris Rock is finally ready to address the infamous slap involving Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars. The comedian, who initially refused to mention it until he was paid to do so, will break his silence on the incident live during his upcoming Netflix special, Selective Outrage.
CNN reports that while prepping for the special, Rock stated, “The thing people wanna know … did it hurt? Hell yeah it hurt. He played Muhammad Ali! I played Pookie (in ‘New Jack City’). Even in animated movies I’m a zebra, he’s a f***ing shark. I got hit so hard, I heard ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears.”
He added, “Will Smith is a big dude. I am not. Will Smith is shirtless in his movies. If you see me in a movie getting open heart surgery, I’m gonna have a sweater on.”
Three nights after the slap, though, he told a rowdy crowd in Boston, “I’m still kind of processing what happened,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Months later in July, he spoke out about the slap during his Ego Death comedy tour saying, “I’m not a victim, motherf**ker. I shook that s**t off and went to work the next day … I don’t go to the hospital for a papercut.”
Regarding his comedy special, Robbie Praw, Netflix Vice President of Stand-up and Comedy Formats, stated, “Chris Rock is one of the most iconic and important comedic voices of our generation. We’re thrilled the entire world will be able to experience a live Chris Rock comedy event and be a part of Netflix history. This will be an unforgettable moment and we’re so honored that Chris is carrying this torch.”
Selective Outrage will stream live on Netflix on Saturday (March 4) at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET from the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, a week ahead of the 2023 Oscars—which he allegedly declined to host.