Home » Chris Rock’s new special was…something

Chris Rock’s new special was…something

by The Grio

Chris Rock appears at the Television Critics Association Winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 9, 2020. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

We all were waiting to hear what Chris Rock was going to say about Will Smith. It’s been a year since “The Slap,” and Rock has said very little about it in public. It was like we all witnessed a fight in class and then waited for the undisputed champion of the dozens to come out and finish the bully off with his mouth. After Smith slapped him, Rock took the high road on the stage and in the months since. So, he’s built up a lot of goodwill. People were open to him saying anything. That’s what he did in his special, “Selective Outrage,” on Netflix as a live hour that streamed Saturday night. Doing it live gave people a sense that Rock was free to say whatever…so get ready. He has been one of the best comedians and one of the most engaging talkers in America for decades, so surely he would find a way to skewer Smith and make it both smart and funny. Did he? 

At one of the key moments in Rock’s closing minutes, on the subject of Smith, he says, “I watched ‘Emancipation’ just to see him get whupped. Got me rooting for massa.” What? Reveling in watching a Black person get whipped? Siding with a slave master? Is that smart or funny? That critical line was, for me, beyond the pale. Even after what happened at the Oscars, that’s not a funny vision of revenge. A slave master whipping a person is the worst torture in the African American collective memory. But, OK, surely Rock knew that when he wrote that line, so it signals how incredibly angry Rock still is.

He talked about the assault hurting him physically and emotionally, too. He went through how much bigger Smith is and how much he loved Smith…

Read the full article here

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