Chris Rock Had A Surprising Reason For Watching Will Smith's 'Emancipation' Movie

Fatima Araos
Closeup of Chris Rock

Will Smith’s film, Emancipation, was a hit with Chris Rock – but not exactly for the reasons you may think.

The 58-year-old stand-up comedian admitted he took delight in hate-watching the movie.

Why He Watched 'Emancipation'

During his new stand-up special on Netflix titled Selective Outrage, Rock joked, “The other day, I watched Emancipation just so I could watch him getting whipped.”

Smith's Character In The Movie

Will Smith speaking onstage
Flickr | bezootje

In the historical drama, Smith plays a slave named Peter who escapes from a Louisiana plantation and fights with Abraham Lincoln’s army during the American Civil War.

The Infamous Slap

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars
Flickr | trendinginsocialseo

It’s understandable why the comedian would feel that way. At last year’s Academy Awards, the 54-year-old Oscar-winning actor infamously slapped him onstage after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. The actress has a condition called alopecia areata, which causes hair loss.

Rock's Joke That Triggered The Slap

Jada Pinkett Smith in a white gown
Flickr | Mulderville

As Rock was presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature Film, he said, “Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane II, can’t wait to see it, aight?” He was referring to the iconic bald character played by Demi Moore.

Smith's Reaction

Chris Rock and Will Smith slapping incident
Flickr | teknomycomtr

Smith appeared to laugh at the joke at first, but changed his demeanor after seeing his wife’s unamused expression.

The Slapped Witnessed By An Audience Of 16 Million

He then got up onstage and hit the Spiral actor in full view of some 16 million spectators, before returning to his seat and shouting, “Keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth!”

The Aftermath

Smith received major backlash as well as a 10-year ban from the Oscars because of the attack.

Rock Has Stayed Quiet About It

Rock, meanwhile, has never really addressed the assault in the year since it happened, aside from brief references to the incident.

Until now.

He's Using It As Material For His Comedy

Now, he’s going all out in his stand-up special.

“Will Smith practices selective outrage,” he said. “People who are in the know, know that s**t had nothing to do with me.”

Why He Thought He Was Attacked

He believed Smith attacked him because he had some anger issues over his marriage problems.

Smith's Marital Issues

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Flickr | johnblazereport

Rock was referring to Pinkett Smith’s affair with rapper August Alsina. After she admitted to the dalliance in a televised conversation with her husband, Smith became a sort of laughingstock in the industry.

'She Hurt Him'

Jada Pinkett Smith in a white dress
Flickr | Mulderville

“We have all been cheated on,” he said in his routine. “She hurt him way more than he ever hurt me.”

Rock Sympathized With Him

Chris Rock in a blue velvet tux
Flickr | techtotools

Back then, Rock said he sympathized with the King Richard actor and even tried to call him to offer support.

He 'Rooted For Will Smith'

Chris Rock and Will Smith right after the slap
Flickr | jasperminx

That was why it was shocking that he took out his anger on the comedian on that stage at the Academy Awards. What made it worse was that he “rooted for Will Smith my whole life.”

Not Anymore

Of course, he no longer does and is now feeling some schadenfreude over seeing him getting assaulted himself, even though it’s only in a movie.

He Called Him 'Suge Smith'

He got super candid in his comedy routine, saying he was attacked by Suge Smith, a mashup of the names of the Ali actor and convicted felon, Marion “Suge” Knight Jr.

'Significantly Bigger Than Me'

“He is significantly bigger than me,” he said of the 6’2” star.

He 'Played Muhammad Ali'

“You will never see me on camera with my shirt off. Will played Muhammad Ali. I played Pookie,” he added, referring to his character in the 1991 movie, New Jack City.

Currently Streaming

Catch more of his hilariously scathing routine. Selective Outrage is currently streaming on Netflix.