Chris Rock ‘Riding High’ from Netflix Special Despite Backlash: Source

Chris Rock ‘Riding High’ from Netflix Special Despite Backlash: Source
Chris Rock ‘Riding High’ from Netflix Special Despite Backlash: Source

Chris Rock basks in the aftermath of his live comedy show.

Two days after the comedian, 58, impaled Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Chris Rock: Selective Rebellionan industry source tells PEOPLE that he’s “riding high from the Netflix special.”

“He said what he needed to say and doesn’t give a s— about the reaction anyway. He’s not worried,” the insider adds.

A year after the infamous incident at the 94th Academy Awards in which Will, 54, punched Rock in the face on stage after the latter joked about Jada, 51, Rock addressed the abuse in his live special on Saturday night, claiming that he “not a victim.”

Many of Rock’s fans and friends have come to his defense amid some online backlash over the jokes.

The source tells PEOPLE that “people have been waiting [Rock’s] reaction for a year,” adding, “For the most part, I think it was well received. People don’t expect sugarcoating from Chris Rock.”

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Chris Rock; Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty; David Livingston/Getty

In his stand-up routine, filmed at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, Rock said in part, “Will Smith practices selective outrage,” adding of the Oscar snub, “Anyone who really knows knows I had nothing to do with it … -. I had no ‘entanglements.'”

The comedian referenced back in July 2020, when Jada opened up about having an “entanglement” with singer August Alsina years ago, while she and Will were on a break. She explained at the time that she and Will were eventually able to repair their relationship, saying, “We’ve really come to that new place of unconditional love.”

Among those who have criticized Rock’s statements are #OscarsSoWhite the creator April reignwho shared a clip from the special alongside which she tweeted that Rock never directly said Jada’s name — referring to Will telling Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your mouth” at the Oscars last year.

“But he called her an ab*tch, and it seems just as bad, if not worse. TO ME,” Reign added.

She also addressed the location of Rock’s show, claiming in a separate tweet: “He knew what he was doing. It wasn’t weird, but on purpose. Chris could have picked (and sold out) any city in America. He wanted to be in Jada’s hometown.”

RELATED VIDEO: Chris Rock Skewers Will and Jada Pinkett Smith Entanglement Drama: “She Hurt Him Way More Than He Hurt Me”

Others such as Leslie Jones have come to Rock’s defense. Jones responded on Instagram to a user who accused the comedian of “setting a terrible example” with the content of his show.

Defending Rock, Jones wrote: “Forget he got beat up in front of the world! His kids, his mom, his peers EVERYONE! I wonder how you guys would deal with that! And he’s A COMEDIAN this is his way of putting it. If he song, he would write a song. Because it’s a painful thing that happens.”

“You act like you want to be fair! YOU’RE A HYPOCRITE! Shut up and sit down,” she added.

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