In an apparent shot at actor Will Smith’s recent apology video, comedian Chris Rock managed to slam his assailant with a couple jokes that deftly took on victimhood culture in the process.
A few days after the 94th Academy Awards ceremony where Rock had been slapped by Smith after a poorly received joke at the expense of the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, the comedian got to work kicking off his 2022 “Ego Death” comedy tour. As it happened, hours after Smith released a video to social media apologizing yet again for the assault that has put his career on hiatus, Rock took the stage in Atlanta, Ga., where he seemed to offer his opinion.
During the standup performance the comedian offered up his latest punchlines at Smith’s expense.
“Everybody is trying to be a f*cking victim. If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims. Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith … I went to work the next day, I got kids,” Rock said, according to CNN.
Earlier Friday, Smith had released a video where he lamented, “The work I’m trying to do is – I am deeply remorseful, and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I’m human. I made a mistake and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of sh*t.”
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He had also stated, “Disappointing people is my central trauma. I hate when I let people down so it hurts. It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me.”
The perceived emotional self-flagellation displayed by Smith didn’t appear to earn him any new supporters to his side after the incident which he openly took full responsibility for in the video. Instead, it seemed to further the division as, like Rock suggested, viewers felt the actor wasn’t doing this out of any deep-seated feelings, but rather to earn back social credit points after becoming persona non grata with major companies.
Will Smith has Chris Rock's number so him making a public apology just tells me this was more for the companies that have him blackballed more than anything
— Slick (@YalKnoItsNick) July 29, 2022
Rock didn’t stop with the reference to Suge Knight, the founder of Death Row Records, who has a reputation for aggressive behavior and is currently serving a near 30-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2018 to voluntary manslaughter.
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” he offered the crowd.
These jokes were just the latest cracks taken by Rock who recently was joined on stage by Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart with a live goat they decided to name “Will Smith” as part of their act. However, this may have been the first to offer up a social commentary on the worsening state of American culture where being a member of the victimhood class is something people aspire to rather than actively try to avoid.
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