What went wrong with Chris Rocks Jada Pinkett Smith joke exposed by Russell Kane

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Chris Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith backfired because he “punched down”, says fellow comedian Russell Kane. The Steph’s Packed Lunch star told Express.co.uk Will Smith’s punch was “abhorrent”, but that Chris should have “erred on the side of caution” when he saw a woman with a bald head. 

Back in March, Will slapped Oscars host Chris Rock for making a joke at the expense of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Referencing Jada’s shaved head, Chris quipped that he couldn’t wait to watch her in GI Jane 2. 

However, Jada didn’t find the joke funny, as she suffers from alopecia and battled heartbreaking insecurity when she decided to shave her hair off. 

Will initially laughed, but his demeanour appeared to change when he realised Jada wasn’t laughing. 

The King Richard star marched up on stage and slapped Chris across the face.

He later apologised profusely, admitting he was “out of line and wrong”. 

The actor was banned from the Oscars for ten years, while Chris opted not to press charges. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk about the current comedic landscape, Russell agreed that the current state of the government was “beyond parody”.

“That’s the problem for the panel shows, it’s harder to make jokes about something that’s funnier than you can be,” he explained. 

“But on stage during stand up it’s easy peasy, because you can set up a thought, you’ve got a bit of time.

“I don’t just literally mean [we should] make fun of the rich and powerful, that’s too ‘student comedy’, I just think you shouldn’t be punching down.”

He continued: “That’s what went wrong with Chris Rock’s joke. 

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“Even though what Will Smith did was totally abhorrent and Chris Rock has ended up looking like a total legend, you see a woman with no hair in the front row and your first instinct should be, ‘Let’s not go there, just in case it’s a disease or any illness.’

“That would be my instinct. How can someone with that much experience not err on the side of caution?”

He added: “That said, once you’ve punched someone in the face, you’ve lost the argument.”

Asked how Will’s career could recover, Russell pondered: “I don’t know.

“It will be interesting to see what happens to Will Smith going forward now. 

“I think that will have done significant damage to what happens to him going forward.”

Joking about Will’s upcoming biopic, he quipped: “They are probably having to film a few more scenes now!

“Tyson Fury doing the choreography.” 

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