Netflix Edited Out Will Smith Joke From Chris Rock Special: Report

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PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 09: Chris Rock of 'Fargo' attends the FX Networks' Star Walk Winter Press Tour 2020 at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 09, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Netflix removed Chris Rock's flub during his live stand-up special.

Though it’s been a year, we continue to dissect the infamous Oscars moment involving Chris Rock and Will Smith, thanks to Netflix. The actor and comedian’s relationship goes back decades but that one moment on stage led to Chris Rock’s assault. People have varying opinions. Some claimed to be traumatized by witnessing the moment on stage. Others felt Will Smith wasn’t wrong for his actions. Overall, the discourse has remained the same yet people continue to be fixated on the moment.

Chris Rock addressed the moment during his live special, Selective Outrage – a title partially inspired by Will Smith’s own actions. “Will Smith practices ‘Selective Outrage,'” Rock explained. “Everybody who really knows, knows I had nothing to do with that shit. I didn’t have any ‘entanglements.'” Elsewhere, he said, “His wife was fucking her son’s friend.” Rock took the gloves off this time. The results were largely a success as Netflix experimented with its first live stand-up special since its inception.

Netflix Edits Chris Rock Joke

At one point in the show, Rock dives into his bit about Will Smith, detailing Jada’s previous attempts urging the comedian to step down from his Oscars role. “Years ago, his wife said I should quit the Oscars. I shouldn't host 'cause her man didn't get nominated for Emancipation,” he said. “The biggest piece of sh*t ever. Okay, so the n***a gives me a f**kin' concussion. No, not Emancipation, I f*cked up the joke. Concussion."

The edit didn’t go unnoticed. Vulture’s Jesse David Fox pointed out the edit, stating that it “makes one wonder if there have been other tweaks.” It’s interesting that Netflix pulled that bit, especially since the excitement surrounding the special was that it was completely live in the first place. Netflix has yet to issue a response to the apparent flub in Rock’s set but for all we know, the comedian may have asked them to remove that bit for a streaming-friendly version. 

Will Smith’s Response To "Selective Outrage"

TOPSHOT - US actor Will Smith (R) slaps US actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Will Smith openly stated that he hasn’t been able to get in contact with Chris Rock to apologize for the incident. While sources said that Chris Rock “said everything he wanted to say,” Smith is reportedly “hurt and embarrassed by what Chris said about him and his family in his Netflix special.” The source also said Smith is not pleased with Netflix’s involvement. “Will is also upset that Netflix was a part of this and thinks Chris insulting Jada again is below the belt," the source added. "He is upset that Netflix gave Chris this platform to share these messages and thinks it’s distasteful."

About The Author
Aron A. is a features editor for HotNewHipHop. Beginning his tenure at HotNewHipHop in July 2017, he has comprehensively documented the biggest stories in the culture over the past few years. Throughout his time, Aron’s helped introduce a number of buzzing up-and-coming artists to our audience, identifying regional trends and highlighting hip-hop from across the globe. As a Canadian-based music journalist, he has also made a concerted effort to put spotlights on artists hailing from North of the border as part of Rise & Grind, the weekly interview series that he created and launched in 2021. Aron also broke a number of stories through his extensive interviews with beloved figures in the culture. These include industry vets (Quality Control co-founder Kevin "Coach K" Lee, Wayno Clark), definitive producers (DJ Paul, Hit-Boy, Zaytoven), cultural disruptors (Soulja Boy), lyrical heavyweights (Pusha T, Styles P, Danny Brown), cultural pioneers (Dapper Dan, Big Daddy Kane), and the next generation of stars (Lil Durk, Latto, Fivio Foreign, Denzel Curry). Aron also penned cover stories with the likes of Rick Ross, Central Cee, Moneybagg Yo, Vince Staples, and Bobby Shmurda.