Transcript for Chris Rock unleashes on Will Smith and Oscar slap in live special
- Now, with Chris Rock. Nearly a year after that slap from Will Smith at the Oscars, Rock spoke out about the confrontation for the first time in a live comedy special on Netflix. Janai Norman here with the details. Good morning, Janai.
- Good morning, guys. So many people talking about this. Chris Rock, live from Baltimore, which happens to be where Jada Pinkett Smith is from, he came out swinging at everything from yoga pants politics to the Kardashians. But it was at the end that he got to what we've waited nearly a year for, his take on Will Smith slapping him.
- You know, anybody that says, words hurt has never been punched in the face.
JANAI NORMAN: Comedian Chris Rock pulling no punches.
- Will Smith played Muhammad Ali in a movie. You think I auditioned for that part? He played Muhammad Ali. I played Pookie in New Jack City.
JANAI NORMAN: Breaking his silence in a big way in his first stand-up special nearly a year after the assault onstage at the Academy Awards.
- Oh, wow. In Netflix's first ever live event Selective Outrage, the legendary comedian and actor donning all white while addressing that now infamous moment.
- People are like, did it hurt? It still hurts. I got "Summertime" ringing in my ears.
- He's had almost a year to think about what he would say, only the way that Chris Rock could say it. When Chris Rock is at his best, he really is able to successfully marry social commentary with humor.
JANAI NORMAN: Rock, again, taking aim at Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith, teasing tabloid fodder surrounding their marriage.
- I didn't have any entanglements. Everybody in here have been cheated on. None of us have ever been interviewed by the person that cheated on us on television. She hurt him way more than he hurt me, OK?
JANAI NORMAN: And suggesting Smith slapping him for joking about Jada's bald head, the result of alopecia, was actually misplaced anger. Rock has maintained he didn't know about Jada's condition at the time.
- Everybody in the world called him a [MUTED]. I tried to call the [MUTED] and give him my condolences. He ain't pick up for me.
JANAI NORMAN: The entertainer sincerely acknowledging that he even admired his fellow actor at one point.
- He'd made some great movies. I have rooted for Will Smith my whole life. I root for this [MUTED], OK?
JANAI NORMAN: Smith has repeatedly spoken about the incident, publicly apologizing for his actions and punished by the Academy, banned from returning to the Oscars for the next 10 years.
- Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable.
I'm a human. And I made a mistake.
JANAI NORMAN: Rock receiving rave reviews from many for the set that tackled topics like abortion, racism, wokeness, and cancel culture.
- The kind of people that play Michael Jackson songs but won't play R. Kelly.
Same crime. One of them just got better songs.
JANAI NORMAN: But the 58-year-old funnyman facing criticism for his comments about Black women and his continued attacks of Pinkett Smith. USA TODAY writing, "If he's going to joke about Jada Pinkett Smith and extensively address the Oscar slap, the punch line has to be better than calling her a gendered slur over and over again."
So we reached out to Smith's camp for comment and didn't hear back. But Chris Rock ultimately said that he didn't hit him back because he has parents who raised him not to fight, quote, "in front of white people." And this was part of the conversation surrounding that, guys. And critics pointing out look, if fighting in front of this audience is off limits then joking at the expense of Black women, calling a Black woman out of her name should also be. So--
- Preach. Yeah, that part. I mean, that was just-- was just--
JANAI NORMAN: It was-- yeah.
- But what do we expect from Chris Rock, he's always gonna push--
But still, but still, that one.
- Yeah. There's a lot to it.
ROBIN ROBERTS: These two guys, they actually stayed up and watched it live.
- They did?
- And then--
- I came back from Easter Island just for the special.
All right, Janai, thank you, as always. Great job.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.