Five Quick Thoughts About Chris Rock’s Comedy Special “Selective Outrage”

Image via Netflix

By Marc W. Polite

Good afternoon, everyone. Like many people, I watched the Chris Rock special “Selective Outrage” last night. Everyone was waiting for this show, to see how he would address the events of last year’s Oscar slap. I think he pulled it off, and gave the audience a good special.

One- The entire show was not about the Will Smith attack on him last year. Rock made interesting points throughout the set. The points about the royal family, the divisions within America, and the capitol riots were biting, but true. Most of what he said will get lost in the predictably “Selective Outrage” as his detractors hyper focus on the bits of the show that they did not like.

Two- The political commentary was on point. Quick.. name a major comedian that addressed the madness of January 6th, 2021. Other comedians had more than two years to do it.. but Chris did it in such a scathing way. The way he critiqued both the Democrats and the Republicans.. spot on.

Three- Rock has a point about the culture of attention seeking. Even the people who hate watch Rock’s special, or read/listen to excerpts in an effort to highlight the portions they didn’t like to rally those who want something to poke at only prove his point. Some of y’all just want other people to like the fact that you didn’t like it.

Four- The strategy behind this was genius. Rather than going on a sympathy tour of interviews, Rock saved all of his ire and let Will and Jada have it.

Five- This is a good example of an artist using their craft to address an issue in a constructive way. This is one of the most intelligent ways that Rock responded to the proxy violence that was visited upon him so publicly last year. By holding both of the Smith’s accountable, Rock had every right to say what he said.

It would seem that when Black men are wronged, they are expected to suffer any and every form of abuse, take it, and never say a word in their own defense. This stand-up in a small way pushes back on this dehumanizing expectation.

Those are some of my thoughts on the comedy special last night.


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