Chris Rock live Netflix special expected to answer Will Smith’s slap

The 58-year-old comedian will perform his first stand-up special since last year’s Oscars on Saturday night. He did it in “Chris Rock: Chosen Anger,” live streaming Netflix at 10 pm EST. Not only will Rock present an hour of stand-up from the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, but Netflix – in its first ever live show – will book a special star-studded commentary.

The pre-show, starting at 9:30 pm, will feature Paul McCartney, Jerry Seinfeld, Matthew McConaughey, Cedric the Entertainer, Ice-T and two hosts from last year’s Oscars: Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer. After Rock’s set, Dana Carvey and David Spade will host guests including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Arsenio Hall and JB Smoove.

While Smith asked for forgiveness and told repeatedly about the incident since March, Rock has avoided all the usual platforms where celebrities usually go to vent their feelings. He never sat down with Oprah Winfrey, and turned down many media outlets that would love to get an exclusive in-depth interview.

Instead, Rock spent most of last year touring new material in a long string of shows as part of his Ego Death tour. The shows, announced ahead of the 2022 Oscars, feature performances with Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart.

Along the way, Rock often works with jokes and slapstick reflections, although it is not more than an element of his performances. There’s no guarantee he’ll talk about it on Saturday night, but he’s widely expected and has long suggested it’s his forum of choice.

stone first broke his silence in public about the slap three nights after the Oscar ceremony, last year in Boston. “How was your weekend?” he asked the crowd. He added that he was “still processing what happened.”

Now, after much processing, Rock will take the cultural spotlight just one week later the March 12 Oscars, where the slap will surely be repeated by this year’s host Jimmy Kimmel. After the events of last year, Smith resigned his membership in the film academy. The board of governors of the academy Smith was banned from the Oscars and all other academic events during a decade.

on the annual luncheon for nominees held last month, motion picture academy president Janet Yang expressed regret about how the incident was handled, calling the academy’s response “inadequate.” Bill Kramer, the academy’s chief executive, said the academy has since established a crisis communications team to prepare and respond more quickly to the unexpected.

“Selective Outrage” is the second Rock special for Netflix, which follows 2018 “Tamborine.” They’re part of two special $40 million deals Rock signed with the streamer in 2016.

While rivals have already entered live streaming and sports, “Selective Outrage” marks Netflix’s first foray into live programming. Netflix, which has 231 million subscribers worldwide, also recently signed on to stream Screen Actors next year Guild Rewards, signaling that “Selective Outrage” may just be the start of a new trend.

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