Chris Rock’s quip that returning to host next year’s Oscars after being slapped by Will Smith would be like Nicole Brown Simpson returning to the restaurant where she ate before she was brutally murdered did not sit well on social media.
The comedian, who was explaining why he turned down the offer to host the 2023 Oscars during a Sunday set in Phoenix, Arizona, was blasted up and down Twitter on Monday for the tasteless joke.
“Chris Rock spends way too much time punching down on women. It wasn’t the first time he said nasty crap about Jada Pinkett Smith, and it isn’t the first time he made vile remarks about Nicole Brown Simpson. (a murdered woman) I’m done with this pos. Srsly,” tweeted Linda Coats.
Kaz Waida wrote, “If this misogyny surprises you, welcome to the world Chris Rock been living in this whole time. Here he is in 1996 doing a set where he sympathizes with OJ and argues Nicole Brown Simpson had it coming.” She shared a clip from his “Bring the Pain” special, where he says (at about three minutes in), “I’m not saying he shoulda killed her. But I understand.”
Several people suggested that Will Smith “didn’t slap him hard enough,” with one person calling for the comedian to be suspended by the Academy, as Smith was. “Can the academy suspend Chris Rock over his Nicole Brown Simpson remark?… I think I understand where Will Smith was coming from better.”
As we all know, at the ceremony in March, Smith took exception to Rock’s dig at wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s lack of hair, which is due to alopecia and not a desire to look like Demi Moore in “G.I. Jane.”
A Twitter user named Jen argued that, with the reference to Nicole Brown Simpson, Rock had lost any sympathy he’d gained for being on the receiving end of violence. “The same people who were legitimately triggered by the Chris rock slap are also triggered by the jokes about Nicole Brown Simpson. I hope domestic abuse survivor and victims are ok tonight.”
Others argued that Rock was “still damn funny” and within his rights to make any joke he likes.
Someone else said they didn’t know why anyone was offended, tweeting, “How does this even make sense. Nicole Brown Simpson was alive and presumably enjoying herself at the restaurant. She wasn’t killed there.”