Chris Rock tackles ‘selective outrage’ and addresses Oscars in live Netflix special


Chris Rock finally took to the Oscars and made streaming history on Saturday.

“I’m going to try to do a show tonight without offending anyone. I’m going to do my best because you never know who might be triggered,” Rock said as he opened his set from Baltimore. “People always say that words hurt … anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”

After the quick apparent reference to Will Smith punching him on stage at last year’s Academy Awards, Rock saved his jokes about the incident until the last ten minutes of the show.

“Y’all know what happened to me when I got smashed by Shug Smith,” Rock said. “It still hurts. I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears. But I’m not a victim, baby. You’ll never see me on Oprah or Gayle crying… I took it like Pacquiao.”

Rock suggested that Smith’s response to his Oscar joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was more about their relationship than him.

“I love Will Smith, my whole life,” Rock said. “I’ve rooted for Will Smith my whole life … now I watch ‘Emancipation’ just to see him get screwed.”

Smith plays an enslaved man in the period drama “Emancipation.”

“‘Why didn’t you do anything that night?’ Rock said people have been asking him. “Because I have parents. You know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people.”

Rock hit on several topics in the first 50 minutes of the special, including addiction, abortion, racism in America, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, the Kardashian family and “wokeness.”

“I have no problem with vigilantism. I have no problem with it at all. I’m all for social justice. I’m all for marginalized people getting their rights. What I have a problem with is the selective outrage,” Rock said. “You know what I’m talking about. One person does something, they get canceled. Another person does the exact same thing, nothing. You know what I’m talking about … the kind of people who play Michael Jackson songs but don’t want to play R. Kelly. Same crime, one of them just has better songs.”

Regarding the country’s division, Rock said, “America is in terrible shape right now.”

“We’re worse off than Ukraine. Yeah, I said it. You know why? Because Ukraine is united and America is clearly divided,” Rock joked. “If the Russians came here right now, half the country would say, ‘ Let’s hear them.’ We are in a bad place right now.”

Rock also delved into his romantic life, saying that when he noticed his pillowcases were dirty, he realized how much women do for men.

“I try to date women my age who are 10 to 15 years younger than me,” he said. “Don’t hate the player, hate the game. I didn’t get rich and stay in shape to talk about Anita Baker. I’m trying to f— Doja Cat.”

“Chris Rock: Selective Outrage” marked the first live global streaming event for Netflix.

The performance was Rock’s sixth stand-up special and his second for Netflix, following 2018’s “Tamborine,” directed by Bo Burnham.

A pre-show event kicked off with comedian Ronny Chieng live from Los Angeles, telling the audience: “We could have pre-charted the whole thing and nobody would have cared, but we’re doing this for a noble cause: To finally try to kill traditional TV and put it out of its misery. In fact, if you listen hard, you can hear Baby Boomers canceling the last cable subscription packages.”

There was also a post-show special with comedians Arsenio Hall, Dana Carvey, David Spade, Yvone Orji and more.

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