Entertainment Post

Comedian Chris Rock Calls Out Academy’s Failure to Recognize Adam Sandler’s Talent

Chris Rock, a comedian and Saturday Night Live co-star, has voiced his displeasure at the Academy’s rejection of Adam Sandler.

At the Mark Twain Award ceremony for American Humor on Sunday, Rock used colorful language to criticize the Academy for not recognizing Sandler’s acting talent. 

Rock, who previously hosted and announced the Oscars, turned down the opportunity to host the 2023 Oscars after a controversial incident involving Will Smith at last year’s awards ceremony.  

After a contentious episode involving Will Smith at the 2018 Oscars, Rock, who had previously hosted and presented at the Academy Awards, declined the offer to host the 2023 ceremony.

Sandler’s performance in the 2019 film Uncut Gems was widely praised by critics, and many expected him to be nominated for an Oscar for his work. was nowhere to be seen.  

It wasn’t the first time the Academy overlooked Sandler’s talent. Despite his impressive work, he was never nominated for an Oscar.  

The Academy has a long history of disdaining comedians and comic performances, as Rock’s remarks serve as a reminder. Despite their ability to make audiences around the world smile and laugh, comedians have historically been overlooked by the Academy, although serious parts have frequently been awarded.

Sandler isn’t the only one who’s been snubbed by the Academy. Other comedians have also been overlooked in the past, including Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy and Steve Carell. raises important questions about  

Rock Speaks Out

As the film industry continues to evolve and diversify, it’s important for the Academy to recognize the contributions of all actors and filmmakers, regardless of their genre or style. Comedians, in particular, deserve to be recognized for their unique abilities to entertain and delight audiences. 

Hopefully, Rock’s comments will help to spark a larger conversation about the role of comedy in the film industry and the need for greater recognition of comedic performances at the Oscars.

During his speech, Rock reflected on Sandler’s role in his life, highlighting how Sandler was one of the first people to embrace him at a time when he was one of the few Black comics in their shared social scene.

Rock was not alone in singing Sandler’s praises on Sunday evening; a number of other celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, Pete Davidson, Drew Barrymore, David Spade, and more, also took the opportunity to celebrate Sandler’s work and his impact on the world of comedy.

Despite Sandler’s decades-long film career and his impressive performances in films like “Uncut Gems,” “Punch-Drunk Love,” and “The Meyerowitz Stories,” he has never been nominated for an Oscar. 

Some critics have suggested that this might be due to the fact that many people still associate Sandler with the “goofy man-children” he’s played in films like “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore.”

However, as Jessica Derschowitz argued in Entertainment Weekly last year, Sandler’s ability to subvert these comedic roles and deliver powerful dramatic performances is precisely what makes him such a unique and talented actor. “Uncut Gems,” in particular, showcases Sandler’s range and his ability to create complex, nuanced characters that audiences can root for despite their flaws.

Read also: 5 FAQs You Must Know about ‘Mean Girls’ Musical Movie

Comedy: An Art

Sandler himself has taken a lighthearted approach to the Oscars snub, joking that he would make a deliberately bad movie if he didn’t receive a nomination. Nevertheless, the fact that he has been overlooked by the Academy highlights the ongoing challenges faced by comedians and comedic actors in an industry that often prioritizes drama over comedy.

Ultimately, Rock’s comments at the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor serve as a reminder of the importance of celebrating comedic talent and recognizing the contributions that comedians make to the world of entertainment. 

As the film industry continues to evolve and diversify, it’s important for the Academy and other organizations to embrace a wider range of genres and styles, and to give comedians like Sandler the recognition they deserve.

Comedy is a form of art that has been around for centuries, bringing joy and laughter to audiences around the world. It is a complex and multifaceted genre that encompasses a wide range of styles and approaches, from slapstick and physical comedy to satire and irony. 

The art of comedy is one that is often overlooked, but it requires skill, creativity, and a deep understanding of human nature.

At its core, comedy is about connecting with people and making them laugh. Whether through clever wordplay, hilarious anecdotes, or physical antics, comedians have a unique ability to bring people together and create a sense of community through shared laughter. 

They are able to tap into the common experiences and emotions that unite us all, and turn them into something that is both relatable and entertaining.

Read also: Diversity and Inclusion: Balancing the Oscars’ Recognition of Excellence with Representation

How a Comedian Comes to Be

One of the key elements of successful comedy is timing. A comedian must know when to deliver a punchline or a comedic gesture for maximum effect. This requires an acute sense of timing and an ability to read the audience and adjust the performance accordingly. 

A joke that falls flat or a gesture that is mistimed can be disastrous, but a well-timed punchline can make all the difference.

Another important aspect of comedy is the ability to take risks. Comedians often push boundaries and challenge social norms, using humor to address sensitive or taboo topics that might otherwise be difficult to discuss. This requires bravery and a willingness to put oneself out there, knowing that not every joke will land and that some might even offend.

Yet, while comedy can be subversive and even controversial, it also has the power to bring people together and foster understanding. Through humor, comedians are able to break down barriers and create a sense of empathy and connection. 

They are able to address difficult topics in a way that is both accessible and entertaining, allowing audiences to engage with these issues in a way that might not be possible through other means.

Finally, comedy is an art form that requires practice, dedication, and a willingness to learn and grow. Successful comedians are constantly refining their craft, experimenting with new material, and seeking out feedback from other performers and audiences. They understand that comedy is a process of trial and error, and that there is always room for improvement.

Photo: EW

The Gloves Are Off: Chris Rock Shares His Side of the Oscars Slap Story

Chris Rock has never been one to shy away from controversy, and his newest Netflix special, Chris Rock: Selective Outrage, is no different.

In fact, Rock didn’t waste any time addressing the topic at hand: the now-famous Oscars slap that happened during the 2022 awards show.

For those who don’t remember, Will Smith smacked Chris Rock in the face on live television during the ceremony after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s appearance. Since then, everyone has commented on the incident, from Tiffany Haddish to Jimmy Kimmel, but Rock has largely kept quiet—until now.

In the Netflix special, Rock makes a few passing references to the incident while making fun of the fact that he has to be careful not to offend anyone. He then adds, “You know anybody that says words hurt has never been punched in the face.” It’s a classic Rock one-liner, but it also serves as a nod to the fact that he’s fully aware of the fallout from the incident.

But Rock doesn’t begin to describe what happened on that Oscars stage until the very end of his performance. He performs it in the only way that he is capable of, as is to be expected.

He tells the audience that he was waiting to take the stage backstage at the Oscars when he saw Will and Jada Pinkett Smith approaching. He says he greeted them both warmly and then added, “Oh, Jada, you look beautiful tonight.” It was a harmless comment, but it was enough to set Will off.

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Recounting the Incident

According to Rock, Will started yelling at him, saying, “What’d you say about my wife?” Rock says he was taken aback by the outburst and told Will that he didn’t say anything bad about Jada. But Will wasn’t satisfied, and he ended up slapping Rock across the face.

Rock says that at that moment, he realized he had a decision to make: he could either punch Will back and risk starting a full-blown fight, or he could let it go and take the high road. In the end, he chose the latter option, and he says he’s glad he did. “I didn’t want to ruin his suit,” Rock jokes.

Of course, it’s worth noting that this is all just Rock’s version of events. Will Smith has yet to publicly comment on the incident beyond his initial apology to Rock, so it’s unclear what his side of the story might be.

Regardless, it’s clear that the incident has left a lasting impression on Rock. He’s always been known for pushing boundaries with his comedy, but it seems that this experience has given him pause. As he says during the special, “I gotta watch what I say. You never know what’s going to set somebody off.”

Difference Between Rock and Smith

He then proceeds to compare himself to Smith, saying that he is not the same as the Hollywood heavyweight, who is in movies with his shirt off and played Muhammad Ali, while Rock played Pookie in New Jack City.

“He’s in movies with his shirt off. If I’m in a movie getting open heart surgery, I got on a sweater. He trained and played Muhammad Ali, I played Pookie in New Jack City, we are not the same!” He continued, “Even in animated movies I’m a zebra, he’s a f—ing shark.”

Towards the end of his set, Rock finally gave his recounting of what went down on that Oscars stage. He likened Smith to Suge Knight, the former rap mogul who in 2018 was convicted of murder, calling him “Suge Smith.” Rock stated that Smith hit him so hard that he heard “Summertime” ringing in his ears, a reference to Smith’s hit song with DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Rock then went on to reference the rumors of Jada Pinkett Smith cheating on her husband with a friend of their son, and how she hurt Smith more than he hurt Rock. He also talked about how Jada had suggested that he quit his job because Will wasn’t nominated for Concussion, to which he responded with jokes about her, saying that she started it.

Read also: Angela Bassett on the Challenges of Fully Immersing in a Character

Didn’t Fight Back

Throughout the special, Rock stressed that he had no beef with Smith and that he loves him. Furthermore he made a point to say that he didn’t fight back because he was raised not to start a ramble in front of white people.

“I love Will Smith, my whole life,” Rock added. “I have rooted for Will Smith my whole life, I rooted for this motherf—–. And now I watch Emancipation just to see him get whooped.”

“A lot of people go ‘Chris, how come you didn’t do nothing back, how come you didn’t do nothing back that night?'”, he stated ending the set, “Cause I got parents, that’s why. Cause I was raised. I got parents and you know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people!”

The Will Smith Oscars slap incident has been talked about extensively in the media, with many people weighing in on the incident. However, this is the first time that Chris Rock has addressed it on television. The incident took place during the 2022 Oscars, when Smith slapped Rock across the face following his joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s appearance.

Chris Rock: Selective Outrage is currently streaming on Netflix.

Photo: EW

Chris Rock Declines Offer from the Academy to Host Oscars 2023

Photo: Self

Chris Rock will not be hosting the 2023 ceremony for the Oscars. 

During a performance in Phoenix on his sold-out stand-up tour, Rock shared that the Academy had called on him to return as a host for the 2023 awards show – an offer he rejected, per the Arizona Republic. 

The comedian then compared such a comeback to reminiscing the scene of the incident after the Will Smith slap of 2022. 

According to Rock, returning to the Oscars would be akin to urging Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant” where she had left a pair of glasses the evening she was killed. 

Additionally, Rock shortly explained the currently notorious slap, saying that Smith’s size and the proof that the Oscar-winner formerly played Muhammad Ali made it an unfair fight. 

“He’s bigger than me,” Rock stated. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.” 

Rock has dodged any questions and discussions regarding the incident, talking about it merely a minute over the course of his now Ego Death tour. 

Read also: Emily Carey Talks About House of the Dragon Character

Rock and Smith Incident

During his presentation at the 2022 Oscars, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her preparedness to portray a character in G.I. Jane with her bald head. 

Pinkett Smith has alopecia and has made it publicly clear that she is sensitive about her hair. In response to the joke, Smith climbed up the stage and slapped Rock, sparking backlash from home audiences and weeks of discussion on what punishment should be imposed. 

Since then, Smith has given his apologies for the outburst, referring to it as “unacceptable” and publicly indicating his wish to make amends with Rock. 

“I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is ‘he’s not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out,’” Smith elaborated. “I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.” 

In retaliation for his actions, Smith has been prohibited from attending the Academy Awards for ten years.

Read also: Will Smith Sees his Career ‘Going Away’ Before the Slapping Incident at Oscars