Chris Rock’s Mic Drop: The Comedian’s Latest Netflix Special Proves He’s Out of Touch

Whitney Alese
Published in
3 min readMar 8

Chris Rock at the end of his Netflix Special, “Selective Outrage”

“I was raised!” Chris Rock yelled into the microphone. “I was raised that you don’t fight in front of White people!” His Netflix special, “Selective Outrage” ends.

I sat mouth agape. Sure, I expected Chris to have things to say about “the slap,” when Will Smith stormed the stage in the middle of Chris Rock’s Oscar presentation and slapped him across the face after a poor joke at Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense.

What I didn’t expect is that Chris Rock would take the end of a pretty unfunny special, that sounded more like a rant on conservative news than reflections from a once observant and aware cultural critic, to trauma dump on the audience. Yes, what happened to him, being humiliated centerstage for millions of people around the world to see, is traumatic. I empathize with him. But this “comedy special” was not it.

During his special, Chris Rock peppered in some tasteless jokes about trans people and disrespected the massive 2020 movement for Black Lives. Then, in the same special, Chris made fun of NBA player Draymond Green’s dark skin while saying Megan Markle “won the light skin lottery.” He also made fun of Megan discussing the racism she experienced while being a royal. None of these are laughing matters.

At the same time, much of the things he said, especially the things he said about Jada if they even needed to be said, should have been reserved for a therapy session (or several), a journal, or a trusted confidant. Especially because Jada was not the one who slapped Chris in front of countless eyes. Will did. And Will did so because Chris made an offhanded quip about Jada’s alopecia. Not advocating for violence here, there is no excuse for what Will did. Will knows it and has…

Whitney Alese
Writer for

Whitney Alese is a writer & podcaster, featured in WIRED Magazine (Sept 2020) & I-D Magazine (Dec. 2021), and NBC (Jan 2023). She is based in Philadelphia.