Updated: Jun 26
In his latest Netflix comedy special, Chris Rock touches on the controversial moment from last year's Oscars when Will Smith slapped him live on camera. Rock, who had not publicly addressed the incident until now, suggests that Smith's anger was directed towards his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, following the public revelation of her "entanglement" with August Alsina. Rock claims that Smith's actions were a case of "selective outrage" and that he hit him because he was upset about Pinkett Smith's publicized infidelity.
Rock pokes fun at the incident, suggesting that Smith's slap was a result of misplaced anger. He also highlights the disparity in size between himself and Smith, joking that Smith does movies with his shirt off, while he doesn't even take his shirt off for a scene involving open-heart surgery. Rock seems unimpressed by Smith's subsequent apology tour and even admits to watching Smith's latest film, Emancipation, solely to see him get beaten up.
Last year's slap caused a great deal of controversy, with both Smith's defenders and detractors speaking out. The Academy issued a statement condemning Smith's actions and later banned him from attending the Oscars for the next ten years. At this year's Oscars, the Academy CEO put into place a "crisis response team" to deal with any future disruptions.
In recent years, the Oscars have been mired in controversy, with criticisms of lack of diversity and inclusion. The slapping incident only added fuel to the fire, and the Academy is taking steps to prevent any further incidents.
As for Chris Rock and Will Smith, it seems unlikely that they will reconcile anytime soon. Rock's Netflix special was his way of addressing the slap and airing his grievances, and Smith has already apologized multiple times. It remains to be seen if there will be any further fallout from this incident, or if both men will move on and focus on their careers.
In any case, the slapping incident serves as a cautionary tale of the dangers of celebrity culture and the importance of controlling one's emotions. The Oscars are meant to be a celebration of the best in the film industry, and the last thing anyone wants is for them to be marred by violence or controversy.