Rock then joked that he would not go back to the Academy Awards because it would be like asking Simpson “to go back to the restaurant” where she left her glasses before she was killed, according to the Arizona Republic.
Simpson was stabbed to death in 1994, and her ex-husband, O.J. Simpson, stood trial for murder in one of the most highly-publicised cases in history, Page Six reports.
He was acquitted, but the verdict was controversial.
People on social media slammed Rock for likening the two incidents, and are now saying perhaps he deserved to get assaulted by Smith, 53, for making a G.I. Jane joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia, for being bald.
“The more Chris Rock talks, the more you begin to see why Will Smith smacked fire outta him,” one person, receiving more than 14,000 “likes,” tweeted.
Another sarcastically added, “Yeah chris rock – you getting slapped for talking s – t and nicole brown simpson’s brutal murder are totally comparable events. great analogy. you totally care about violence against women. fully clear to us now.”
Photojournalist Gregory Anderson agreed, pointing out that perhaps Fred Goldman, the father of Ron Goldman, who was killed alongside Nicole, should have the “honour” of slapping Rock now for the bad joke.
“Comparing what happened to him to what happened to Nicole Brown Simpson is truly tasteless and not at all funny,” he added.
However, others called out the fact that the general public were not as harsh on Rock when the butt of his joke was Pinkett-Smith, and claimed it’s because she’s a “black woman.”
One user tweeted, “Disrespect the Black woman, & that’s okay. But dammit, disrespect a dead White woman & he’s hated.”
Another wrote, “So you [white women] who ran to Chris Rock’s defence after Will slapped the 💩out of him, for insulting and offending Jada, still on Chris Rocks side? I know you didn’t care about Jada’s feelings cause she’s a [black woman], but will you say ‘It was only a joke’ now that he’s offended Nicole’s Family?”
A rep for Rock did not immediately return Page Six’s request for comment on the criticism.
This article originally appeared in Page Six and was reproduced with permission