Almost a year after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in front of an audience of millions at the 2022 Academy Awards, and despite having made a public apology via video, the Emancipation star has yet to come face to face with the comedian to personally say sorry.
Will Smith's Oscar Snub: What Happened To Chris Rock?
Rock Hits Back In 'Selective Outrage'
Now, Rock, 58, has slapped back hard – figuratively – at the 54-year-old actor in his new Netflix standup special titled Selective Outrage.
Dishing The Dirt On Smith
He dug up a lot of dirt, from Smith assaulting him at the Oscars to his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, having an affair with their son’s friend, August Alsina.
A Simple Sorry Would Have Worked
The funny thing is it could have all been prevented if the King Richard star had only personally apologized.
'Never Got A One-On-One Private Apology'
A source close to Rock told Daily Mail, “Chris never got a one-on-one private apology from Will, only the public one which really meant nothing.”
Catharsis, Not Revenge
However, the insider explained that the comedian’s brutal jokes weren’t about revenge but rather catharsis.
“Chris wanted to get this out once and for all and be done with it. This was very cathartic to him,” the source said.
On The Timing Of 'Selective Outrage'
The insider also addressed the timing of Selective Outrage’s release, which was a week before the 2023 Academy Awards.
Is It An Insult To Smith?
Some perceived that as further insult to Smith, given his 10-year ban from the event due to the assault.
It Was Netflix's Decision
However, the source cleared it up, saying, “Netflix decided when to run this, not Chris.”
Meghan Markle Got Ridiculed, Too
The I Am Legend star wasn’t the only person Rock ridiculed that night during the show’s live taping at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore. Meghan Markle got skewered, too.
He's Now Being Called A Racist
Because of his jokes about the Duchess, he’s now being accused of racism on social media. The source disagreed.
'Nothing But Love For Black People'
“Chris is not racist at all. Nothing could be further from the truth,” the insider said. “Chris is a black man making jokes about other black people from a black person’s perspective. He has nothing but love for black people - and all people.”
The infamous incident – jokingly called Slapgate – happened at the Oscars in March last year as Rock presented an award.
The Joke That Started It
He made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, and her displeased husband got up onstage and hit him in the face.
Smith's Best Actor Win And Acceptance Speech
Later that evening, Smith won Best Actor and gave a tearful acceptance speech in which he apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees – but not the person he slapped.
A Statement On Instagram
The following day, he took to Instagram to with a lengthy statement. He called his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable.”
His Public Apology
He added, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong.”
His Apologized On Video, Too
Four months later in July 2022, the Men in Black actor came out with a video in which he again expressed regret for what he did.
What He Said To Rock
“Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I'm here whenever you’re ready to talk,” he said. He also said sorry to the comedian’s mother and family.
But They Never Talked
Apparently, Rock didn’t respond to his invitation to talk. He never publicly addressed the slap, either, aside from brief references to it – until he did Selective Outrage.