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Chris Rock is finally going to publicly confront Will Smith's Oscars slap in a Netflix special

Chris Rock is finally going to publicly confront Will Smith's Oscars slap in a Netflix special

Chris Rock is finally going to speak about the slap

Netflix is set to air its first ever live-streamed broadcast this weekend, and what better way to mark it than with Chris Rock finally addressing the Will Smith Oscars slap?

It's been almost a year since Smith walked on stage during Rock's hosting stint and slapped him in the face for making a joke referring to Jada Pinkett-Smith's shaved head.

Remember this?

Rock had referred to Jada as 'G.I Jane' in a passing comment that got a laugh from everyone in the crowd - including Smith.

But moments later, the Hitch actor had joined Rock on stage and struck him across the face, warning him to 'keep [his] wife's name out of [his] f***ing mouth'.

The fallout was massive, and included Smith being banned from the Oscars for ten years and resigning from the Academy.

This year, the Academy Awards has even developed a 'crisis team' to prevent another similar incident.

Five months after the slap, Smith did issue a public apology to Rock, and while Rock has briefly touched on the issue in his stand-up, he has never spoken about it in detail or publicly forgiven Smith.

Now, though, Rock is finally set to address the slap head-on in a test pilot for Netflix's first-ever live-stream.

And the timing couldn't be better, with the stream set to go ahead exactly one week before this year's Academy Awards - which will no doubt have its own share of slap-themed jokes told by this year's host Jimmy Kimmel.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage during the 94th Academy Awards.
REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

In a world tour with Dave Chappelle last year, both Rock and Chappelle took it in turns to poke fun at Smith.

While Chappelle accused Smith of doing 'an impression of a perfect man for 30 years', Rock pointed out that he had been slapped over what was likely the 'nicest joke [he] ever told'.

During a back and forth, Chappelle told Rock: "At least you got smacked by someone of repute," to which Rock replied: "I got smacked by the softest n**** that ever rapped."

It's not clear how much of Rock's one-hour Netflix set, performed from the Hipporodrome Theatre in Baltimore, will concern the Smith incident.

But judging by the title of the comedy special, Selective Outrage, fans are holding out for quite a lot of material focused on the slap.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 'selective outrage' is a topic that Rock had been toying with in more recent stand-up gigs, and tended to focus on what he thinks really triggered Smith's slap, and why he decided not to retaliate.

Chris Rock is set to address the slap in a history-making Netflix special.
Netflix.

Commenting on the upcoming special, Robbie Praw, Netflix's vice president of stand-up and comedy formats, said: "Watching live on Netflix is a real change in the construct that we have with our members."

When it comes to Rock's comedy special airing just a week before the Oscars, Praw simply stated that it was nothing more than a coincidence.

“It really was a factor of when Chris felt like he was ready and when the technology was ready,” he said.

"I know you’re looking for a more fun answer than that, but that’s really what it came down to."

Chris Rock's live-stream event will air on Netflix on Saturday, 4 March at 10pm ET/ 3am GMT.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix/ REUTERS / Alamy

Topics: Netflix, Film and TV, Chris Rock, Will Smith