The conversation continues to take intriguing turns as a result of Chris Rock’s “Selective Outrage” Netflix show. Whether words are mere “jokes” or whether comedians should be held accountable for what they say has celebrities in an uproar.
A similar kind of conversation was going around after Dave Chappelle’s The Closer special in 2021, which was contentious because of Chappelle’s inappropriate remarks towards trans people. We need to recognize the importance and power of words because conservatives are actively trying to get rid of that particularly vulnerable people.
The Hollywood Reporter stated in 2016 that “Selective Outrage” was part of a $40 million contract he negotiated with Netflix for two stand-up specials. Rock’s debut Netflix comedy special, “Chris Rock: Tamborine,” premiered five years prior.
So the streaming giant forked up that kind of dough so he could make jokes about race, regularly refer to Black people by their last names (particularly Black women), and claim that liberals have gone too far in their quest for equality and inclusiveness. De-platforming would be an absolute no-brainer if a comic who wasn’t Black utilized the same jokes. Similarly, the rock should be judged.
Towards the end of his show last weekend—the first live-streamed event in Netflix’s history—he explained that he didn’t punch Smith back when Smith made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith because he was taught not to fight in front of white people. However, many people on social media pointed out that he thinks it’s fine to publicly shame Black women in front of white people.
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Rock, as well as the venues that show his “humor,” must be exposed in the end. TikTok user @jordxn.simon expressed concern over Rock’s views, writing, “it is alright to make fun of Black people, primarily Black women, specifically Black sick women, in front of white people and the Oscars co-signed it and celebs co-signed it and a lot of y’all are co-signing it.”
Chappelle, meanwhile, has gone on to host “Saturday Night Live,” won multiple honors (including a Grammy for his album The Closer), and silence his critics. We know that Rock will likely suffer no repercussions for what he has stated, but it would be wrong to remain silent about its effects.
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