A writer has insisted that Chris Rock deserved to be slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars to teach him about ‘accountability’ for his years of jokes about black women.
Candace McDuffie, a senior writer at The Root, penned an essay on Sunday entitled Chris Rock Still Deserved to be Slapped by Will Smith, just one day after the comedian sounded off in a live standup special about the now infamous moment at the Oscars last year.
She was then brought on CNN’s new morning show Tuesday to share her thoughts, with even Don Lemon seemingly questioning her views.
McDuffie tried to explain on the show that Rock, 58, made made black women the ‘butt of his jokes for years’ and needed to be held accountable for his words — which she said could incite violence.
‘It’s not so much about being slapped as it’s about accountability, right,’ she told Lemon. ‘He has made black women specifically the butt of his jokes for years and he’s finally being held accountable.
‘So I feel this kind of sets the precedent going forward that people will be more careful about how they treat black women.’
At that point, Lemon warned McDuffie that people would focus on her words and say, ‘Is Candace McDuffie condoning violence, saying that Will Smith should have slapped Chris Rock?’
McDuffie then admitted that in the ‘literal sense’ her words seemed like a ‘bit much.’
But as she wrote in her piece for The Root on Sunday. ‘It’s not about condoning violence, but words—especially ones that make black women the punchline—should have consequences.’
As she told Lemon on Tuesday: ‘Honestly, sitting here, you know, calling Jada out of her name, making fun of her hair condition, talking about her alopecia, words can be violent as well.
‘And as we see black girls and women, we suffer abuse at higher rates in this country, so continuing to humiliate us only perpetuates this,’ she claimed.
When Lemon then asked what she would say to those who believe she is being ‘too sensitive’ about Rock’s comedy, noting ‘a lot of people laugh… when they hear the jokes and say he’s just being a comedian,’ McDuffie suggested there is a problem with comedy in America.
‘I think it speaks to a larger American pattern of using marginalized people as comedic fodder,’ she said.
She then went on to claim: ‘It can also lad to violence being incited. It can lead to us being not seen as human.
‘Words in comedy have larger consequences as we’ve seen in recent years.’
She then went on to say what she saw in the Netflix special ‘wasn’t comedy,’ arguing that it was ‘really pain.’
McDuffie suggested Rock ‘hasn’t healed from what’s happened, and instead of dealing with those emotions and those feelings he’s just taking it out’ on black woman.
The interview comes just days after Rock addressed the viral slap across the face in his stand-up special.
The dramatic moment occurred on air during the 2022 Oscars ceremony after Rock, who was hosting the event, made a comment about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.
But in his live stand-up special, Rock claimed that anybody who really knew about the circumstances surrounding the slap knew that it wasn’t actually about him — as he accused Smith, 54, of ‘selective outrage,’ lashing out because his wife had an affair.
He even brought up the fact that Jada Pinkett Smith only confessed to having an affair while interviewing her husband and noted: ‘His wife was f****** her son’s friend.’
Now, Rock says he still has ringing in his ears and watches the I Am Legend star’s feature film, Emancipation, ‘just to see him get whooped.’