Marlon Wayans Is ‘Not Afraid’ Of Will Smith And Chris Rock Seeing His ‘Slapgate’ Jokes In New Stand-Up Special
Marlon Wayans has a new comedy special on HBO Max where he addresses Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at last year’s Academy Awards. In a recent interview, Wayans says he didn’t contact either of them about putting the joke in his act – and adds that he has no fear of Smith or Rock seeing his jokes.
Wayans told The Hollywood Reporter about not reaching out to Rock or Smith, "No, because in their art, they don’t ask me, ‘What do you think of this?’ I think as artists, we all do what we do. Especially because it’s such a sensitive subject, I didn’t want their opinions. I just hope they gauge and trust that I love them. That I’m being objective. I’m being honest. I’m being real. And that the purpose of this is more healing than it is deconstruction.”
He also added, “Chris cracked the wrong joke at the wrong moment, or the right joke at the wrong moment. And Will had the wrong response on the best day. They mirrored each other in a way, and the experience brought everybody together. It happened, and the discovery for me was hurt watching that because I know them all. This came from a genuine place, and I’m not afraid of them seeing it. I think all of them know my heart. I’ve always been a really good dude. I come from a good place, and there’s no harm ever meant. I just hope that at some point they can laugh at themselves.”
For the first time on stage, Chris Rock addressed the slap during his standup comedy special, Selective Outrage, at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore Saturday night (March 4). It was Netflix’s first-ever live-streamed comedy event.
"People are like, 'Did it hurt?' It still hurts! I got 'Summertime' ringing in my ears!" Rock said in the special. "But I'm not a victim, baby. You will never see me on Oprah, Gayle, crying." He also said how Smith was significantly bigger than him, and it was a "some b**ch ass s**t" to slap him, considering the jokes that have been made about Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, over the years.
Marlon Wayans: God Loves Me is currently streaming on HBO Max.