Did Chris Rock choose Baltimore for his special because it’s Jada Smith’s hometown?

Chris Rock was slapped by Will Smith almost exactly a year ago, and on Saturday night the comedian slapped back, metaphorically speaking. But critics also wonder if Rock’s choice of Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theater for his stand-up special “Selective Outrage” was more calculated than it first appears – because it’s Jada’s hometown. Pinkett Smith.

THE Baltimore Banner’s Leslie Gray Streeter called out Rock in a column on Sunday, saying Rock “contradicted himself when he ended his show last night saying he didn’t hit Smith last year because he was brought up” for not not fight in front of white people “.”

“Isn’t that what you do, man, while joking about rooting for Massa to beat Smith’s character in ‘Emancipation’?” Streeter said, referring to director Antoine Fuqua’s 2022 historical drama about Smith’s slaves. “Didn’t you come to a black woman’s town to call her name to prolong a fight and collect a check in front of paying audiences at the theater and around the world?”

It wasn’t until the end of the hour-long Netflix special that Rock addressed the elephant in the room and finally blasted a year of resentment.

“She started this s—-,” he said of Pinkett Smith’s comments that he should stop hosting the Oscars after he joked in 2016 about the Smiths boycott of the ceremony when Will Smith was not nominated for his performance in “Concussion”.

Rock said the slap he heard around the world had nothing to do with him, noting it erupted out of Smith’s frustration with his own relationship with his wife. He poked fun at their ‘entanglement’ situation, saying, ‘Everyone in the world called him a bitch’ for putting up with Jada’s affair, ‘but it was me he hit .” Rock was referring to Smith and Pinkett Smith’s open marriage and in particular her relationship with a younger man, Auguste Alsinawhich has been the subject of much gossip.

“Will Smith practices selective outrage,” Rock said, also giving context to the special’s title. “Anyone who really knows knows I had nothing to do with this. I had no entanglements. Normally I wouldn’t talk about this s—, but for some reason these simpletons put this s— on the Internet. She hurt him more than he hurt me.

While Rock was undoubtedly referring to Pinkett Smith, he didn’t once mention her by name. “He did say the words ‘bitch’ and ‘predator’ though. In his hometown. But at least he didn’t say his name! Streeter wrote.

“Jada Pinkett Smith didn’t hit Chris Rock. Her husband did. And I can’t help but notice that this special wasn’t shot in Philadelphia, or even Bel Air. It was filmed in Baltimore and, as a taxpayer, I appreciate the spotlight on the tourist and business interests of the city. I hope everyone does a special here! But for Rock, do it, the week before the first anniversary from The Slap, is wickedly strategic. And once again, a woman brutally grabs comic strays. It’s awfully predictable.

And The Baltimore Banner writer wasn’t the only one thinking about it. Here are a few others on social media who agreed:

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