Francis Doku: A joke is always at someone’s expense – On Chris Rock & Will Smith

Chris Rock did his thing & made his millions - Francis Doku
Chris Rock did his thing & made his millions - Francis Doku

I finally completed watching the new Chris Rock Netflix Special yesterday after two days of trying.

I have seen a lot of outrage about the performance on social media. Some of which, coincidentally, fit the title of the special: Selective Outrage. As if Rock knew and deliberately chose the title.

As to be expected, the woke brigade are up in arms over some of the jokes.

A typical one was about Meghan Markle and her expectations despite marrying into what he calls a racist family and the “browness” of her child as referenced by a member of the family. Then there is another about trans and how he would accept his dad if he woke up one day and said he was transgender, like Bruce Jenner, even though his big brother would never accept that.

Poster for Chris Rock's Selective Outrage
Poster for Chris Rock’s Selective Outrage

The biggest outrage, however, was the joke about him, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. How ostensibly angry he was at that point of the special. Even though it was just north of 8 minutes, some say this entire special was about his revenge for the Smiths following the big slap at the Oscars a year ago. Rock really went in hard Rock style and people felt it for Will and Jada. Especially Jada when he called her a bitch.

2020 GMB achieved its objectives – Francis Doku

Honestly, I watched the special as I would watch any Rock special or any stand up for that matter, and I have watched a few Rock shows. His style wasn’t any different, his language wasn’t any different and the expectation of taking on the Smiths was met fully.

I think the selective outrage by people is much ado about nothing. I consider a joke as a joke. Rock, like any other comic, has a comedic license to joke about any subject and he did just that.

For one whole year he hadn’t mentioned anything about what happened to him on the Oscars stage, yet folks don’t want him to say anything when he had the opportunity? Have they wondered how odd it would be if Chris Rock had taped this special and didn’t mention that incident?

Generally, the world has become too grouchy about everything and it worries me that subjects that were fodder for jokes in times past have become touchy subjects and looks increasingly that comedy is becoming an endangered art form. It is also not to say that people cannot have their own views about comedic subjects, but I think the people should relax small. A joke is always at someone’s expense.

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Chris Rock may not be a Pryor, Murphy or Chapelle, but he has his game and he did his best and made his millions with Selective Outrage. And then he dropped the mic. Over.

  • IMDb – 7.1/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes – 50%
  • Me – 5.5/10

The author, Francis Doku is General Manager of 3Group under Media General Ghana Ltd, owners and operator of TV3, 3FM and other company. All views included therein are solely representative of the author’s


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