Donnell Rawlings now believes that the “score’s even” between Chris Rock and Will Smith following the release of Rock’s new Netflix comedy special, Selective Outrage.
The comedian recently crossed paths with TMZ and was asked his thoughts on Rock’s latest standup, which saw the Brooklyn native addressing the infamous slap he received from Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars. Rawlings, a native of the DMV area, says Rock’s set was fair game and that the passage of time between the slap and Rock’s response was inconsequential.
“Most comedians don’t or can’t fight,” the 54-year-old said. “So there’s certain arenas we want to play on. In the ring, I’m not gonna fight. But if I get an opportunity to get you in my home, in my octagon, I’m gonna take advantage of it. A year later – you can’t tell somebody when it’s the right time to clap back.”
Rawlings added, “If there’s a time to talk, right now, the score’s even. Hopefully, we get past this because these are two guys who, for the most part, stayed out of trouble… People have a connection to both of those guys. They’re not bad guys.”
Earlier this month, Netflix released Chris Rock’s Selective Outrage special, which featured the veteran comic’s public address of being slapped by Smith after a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. While presenting an award at the annual ceremony, Rock singled out Pinkett-Smith by making light of her lack of hair with reference to the 1997 film G.I. Jane. In response, Smith, who sat in the audience beside his wife, walked onstage and smacked Rock with an open hand before demanding that he not mention Pinkett-Smith’s name again.
As a result of his actions, Smith received public backlash and a 10-year ban from future Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences events. The Philly native and Oscar winner has since apologized to Rock and his family in a video posted on YouTube. The two reportedly have yet to speak since the broadcasted altercation.