Chris Rock's Bad Joke About Will Smith Allegedly Removed from Netflix Special

Jean S.
chris rock selective outrage
Getty | AaronP/Bauer-Griffin

Netflix is apparently editing out a joke in the 2023 Netflix stand-up comedy special, Selective Outrage after Chris Rock incorrectly referenced a Will Smith film.

Netflix's First Live Broadcast

The special is notable for being the first ever show broadcast live worldwide by any streaming service, which is why people are making comments online after noticing that the recorded version no longer has the comedian's mistake in it.

'Selective Outrage'

chris rock special selective outrage
Flickr | tariqabbas1045

Selective Outrage tackles topics such as racism, gender inequality, and victimhood -- particularly the last part.

The Infamous Slap

will smith slapping chris rock
Giphy | Xavier Degraux

We all know what happened between Chris Rock and Will Smith during the 2022 Academy Awards. What was supposed to be a joke turned into a physical altercation that ended up going viral. It also got Will Smith banned from attending the ceremony for the next decade.

Breaking His Silence

Chris has kept a tight lip since then, choosing to focus on his comedy instead, aside from a single interview last year.

However, in Selective Outrage, he finally felt comfortable enough to talk about the incident in what's possibly one of his most controversial stand-up specials.

The Joke

concussion 2015 movie poster
IMDB | Concussion (2015)

In the special, Chris didn't shy from talking about the slapping incident, claiming that Jada's statement to him started it.

According to his account of events, Jada had told him years ago that he should quit the Oscars since Will wasn't nominated for the 2015 sports biopic, Concussion.

Mixing Up The Titles

emancipation film poster
IMDB | Emancipation (2022)

That said, in the live show, Chris misattributed the title of Will's film to the audience, referencing the 2022 film Emancipation instead.


jada at the oscars 2022

"She said, me, a fucking grown-ass man, should quit his job because her husband didn’t get nominated for Emancipation. And then this n*gga gives me a f*cking concussion, okay?"

Messed Up Joke

Chris quickly apologized to the crowd, "No, not Emancipation," he said, realizing his mistake. "Ah, I fu*ked up the joke."

Fans Have Different Reactions

One tweet posted a video of the joke, saying, "Chris Rock badly biffed his Will Smith Concussion joke."

Another tweet said, "I know Chris Rock was up all night kicking himself for screwing up the “concussion”/“emancipation” joke, and that makes me smile so big."

Some Fans Are Sympathetic

One viewer tweeted, "Feel so bad for Chris Rock. He waited a year to get his revenge against his bully and wrote an AMAZING final 10 minutes to his live special… then fumbled the last joke delivery on Concussion/Emancipation."

"Damn, Chris Rock messed up that Emancipation/Concussion joke so bad. And he confessed about it immediately," said another tweet.

"Chris Rock having a whole year to plot/plan his Will Smith jokes only to fumble Emancipation/Concussion 😬"

Editing for Flow

That said, contrary to popular belief, it seemed like Netflix only edited the joke to make the flow of the show better. But, until Netflix releases the unedited version of the special, it seems like Chris Rock's mistake won't be part of the official version.

Many Enjoyed the Show

Regardless, if you weren't able to catch the live broadcast, the Selective Outrage special is still worth watching.

As one tweeter said, "The balls it takes to record a Netflix special live without editing. Chris Rock is amazing, it's as simple as that."

"They always say 'words hurt.' That’s what they say," Chris said to a howling audience. "You know, anybody that says words hurt has never been punched in the face"

Talking About Will Smith

"Everybody called him a b*tch and his wife a predator. Everybody called him a b*tch. Everybody! Everybody! And who does he hit? Me. A n*gga he knows he could beat. That is some b*tch-ass shit," he joked, the crowd roaring in laughter.

Recalling the Slap

"I got hit so hard, I heard Summertime ringing in my ears," Chris said, referencing the Grammy Award-winning hit song Summertime released in 1991 by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. The collaboration earned them the 1992 accolade for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the Grammys.

Chris Rock: Not a Victim

Chris continued, "But I'm not a victim, baby. You will never see me on Oprah or Gayle crying. You will never see it. Never gonna happen."

Why He Didn't Hit Back

chris rock saying no
Giphy | Global Citizen

And despite the fumbled joke, it's safe to say that the show still ended on a great note. In fact, Chris waited until the end to reveal why he decided not to escalate the situation in last year's incident.

"Don't Fight In Front of White People"

Chris Rock
Flickr | tariqabbas1045

"A lot of people go, 'Chris, how come you didn’t do nothing back?' 'How come you didn’t do nothing back that night?'" he said to the audience. "Cause I was raised, okay? I’ve got parents. And you know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people."

Expecting More Appearances

Here's to hoping that Chris Rock gets more specials in the future!