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Chris Rock at last speaks out about Will Smith's Oscars slap; takes aim at cancel culture, abortion

Photo by Al Seib /A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

Chris Rock verbally smacked back at Will Smith during a live Netflix stand-up special Saturday, nearly a year after the infamous Oscars night assault, Rolling Stone and other outlets reported.

"Nobody was picking on her," 58-year-old Rock said of Jada Pinkett Smith, live broadcasting from Baltimore in the "Chris Rock: Selective Outrage" Netflix stand-up comedy special.

Actor Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith's husband, infamously walked up on stage and slapped Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith's hair while Rock was hosting the Oscars in April 2022.

"She said me, a grown-a** man, should quit his job because her husband didn’t get nominated for 'Concussion,' and then this n***a gives me a f****** concussion, OK? What the f***, man!” Rock said, in a 10-minute, expletive-drenched evisceration of Will Smith streamed live from Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre.

Rock goes on to explain, in his characteristic, no holds barred fashion, exactly what drove the infamous slap heard 'round the world. Until this point, Rock had said very little about the assault. Saturday night, that all changed.

Rock began by saying he took Smith's hit like boxer Manny Pacquiao, the Washington Post reported. He blamed Smith's assault on his wife's "entanglements." Namely, the couple's well-publicized embrace of marital infidelity.

"Everyone called [Will Smith] a b****," Rock said. "And who's he hit? Me. [Someone] he knows he can beat."

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences banned Smith for 10 years after he slapped Chris Rock, as TheBlaze reported last year.

Speaking out about the slap was just one portion of Rock's 68-minute special.

Dressed in all white, the comedian also took aim at the hypocrisy of "woke business," the "selective outrage" of canceling some people but not others, the Kardashians, and more. Even Elon Musk could not duck Rock's metaphorical jabs.

"Women should have the right to kill a baby until he's four years old," Rock said, joking about the very serious topic of abortion.

For good or ill, that particular comment seems to have hit a nerve.

"He's crotchety. He's mean. He's predictable and boring," USA Today writer Kelly Lawler said of Rock's special.

"[Chris Rock has] started sounding like the guy at the end of the block screaming about kids these days ... If he's going to joke about abortion and killing babies, the punchline has to be better than 'children are annoying.'"

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