‘Chris Rock: Selective Outrage’ Stand-Up Review: Shines A Light On Spoiling Kids, Getting Slapped, & Tackling Racism

A whole year after making the headlines in every possible tabloid for enduring a slap from Will Smith on the stage of the Oscars, the infamous Chris Rock has broken his silence on more than a few topics in his latest live stand-up special on Netflix. The touted global event is shot in the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore. With a jam-packed audience and an entire list of topics to get through in one hour, Chris Rock interlinks various happenings that affect him and the people at large. The stand-up comedian, actor, and filmmaker is known for his work in movies like “Top Five,” “Madagascar,” and “Grown Ups.”


Above everything, Rock is known for voicing his opinions and thoughts without a filter, which is what got him slapped in the first place. It is essential for a comedian to stay relevant and talk about things that are clearly in vogue. However, it is also crucial for people to stay sensitive and humble when it comes to topics that can severely hurt the sentiments of other people. Nonetheless, Rock is not one of the people to exercise restraint. Rather, he has managed to flip the tables and claim that the world has started practicing selective outrage, as the title also exhibits. Meaning people in today’s time choose who to tolerate and who to punish. This comes especially as a response to the slap by Smith, wherein every paper and every writer in the world called him out for what his wife did and how their personal matters were on TV for everyone to see. But Smith chose a public platform to take a stand against Rock’s comment, which was deemed extremely harsh. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start from the beginning.

Chris Rock starts his rant with the term ‘woke trap,’ where people have to be careful of whatever they say. In modern times, people don’t get ahead by working hard or dedicating themselves to their work. They race ahead by pulling down people who say things without thinking. To be awake means to stay updated and stay sensitized to the surrounding occurrences. And the ones who are not woke are racist or discriminatory, by extension. He talks about people who claim words hurt when they have clearly not been punched by a brick. In a larger sense, his attempt to be funny or entertain people gets clouded by his rant that covers so many topics at once. When you blend in his constant cuss words and the taboo N-word, its essence gets lost along the way. One can never tell if he is seriously appreciative of the things he comments on or if we should just brace ourselves for yet another comment that will not land well with most people.


Next, he shifts the speech to business and people being full of shite. From false promises by America’s beloved politicians to a non-racist and non-sexist yoga pants brand, he dives into the politicized version of their country’s economy, where nobody minds their own business. Politicians endorse businesses, whereas businesses exhibit their political stances. He goes on to talk about the blended lines between America’s political reality and its economic landscape. We will not hesitate to agree with his opinion on this; the guy’s got the point. A business or brand should focus more on talking about its products and services than proclaiming if they are racist or not. Nobody cares if a pair of yoga pants is racist or not, especially if you charge a whopping $100 for them.

Moving on, you would expect a man to learn from his mistakes and not make jokes offensive to people who are clearly above him in popularity or influence. Yet Chris Rock proves that he is not one to change and goes on to joke about people like Elon Musk, the Kardashians, and Meghan Markle. From Elon Musk’s sperm levels to Meghan Markle’s victimized interviews over the Royal Family’s racist actions, Rock does not stop at one dig. He stretches out the commentary to get in as many laughs as he can. Calling Britain’s Royal Family the “original” racists, Rock definitely does not pull his punches and keeps going. It feels as if he is getting high off his audience’s laughs despite realizing that he will be the one getting in trouble for all the remarks he makes.


Next, he moves to comment on the divided nation of America, where people are addicted to opioids while banishing people who sell the said drugs. Moreover, today’s world fights a war more pertinent than the ones fought before—the war to be the most liked. Faking attention and likes on social media, everyone seems to have an opinion on everything. Chris Rock also shares the four sure-shot ways of getting attention in the modern world: show your body, be infamous, be a victim, or be the epitome of excellence at something. Again, I have to agree with the guy here. These seem to be the ways that work when it comes to getting noticed by the whole wide world.

Consequently, he shifts the rant to talking about his dating life and his spoiled kids. Even though he is not one of the fathers who wants his kids to know what it feels like to be broke, he shares an incident that required strict action to get his daughter in check. In conclusion, this stand-up shows Chris Rock for who he truly and unabashedly is. His unapologetic true self comes out in this one-hour comedy special with his take on several themes and topics. In a revelation, he also claims to have loved Will Smith for his work, but after everything that happened, he cannot say the same again.


You can watch the comedy special for the shade he throws on topics most comedians fear touching with a ten-foot pole. Or you can ignore it to avoid hearing about the status of racism in America and the victimization of people that gets them all the attention in the world. It all comes down to choosing your cup of tea in humor and comedy.

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Vidhi Narula
Vidhi Narula
Bio: With a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Vidhi puts her skills to use for dissecting and analyzing the essence of entertainment features. She loves writing about movies and shows that fascinate her. Her love for the numerous fictional worlds grows with every piece of content she consumes. All she hopes to do is deepen her knowledge of the world on screen and widen her horizons by watching movies from across the world.

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