Richard Pryor's Daughter Rain on Will Smith's Oscars Slap of Chris Rock: 'They're Both Really Good Guys'

·2 min read

Rain Pryor, the daughter of provocative comedian Richard Pryor, is no stranger to extreme reactions to controversial comedy. But even she was shocked by the "slap heard around the world" at the Oscars last March.

Richard Pryor and Daughter Rain
Courtesy Rain Pryor


On Tuesday's episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast, director and actress Rain Pryor spoke to host Janine Rubenstein about the differences between comedy today, and back in the 1970s during her father's heyday.

This conversation came in shortly after Pryor spoke on a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival about the A&E Network documentary Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution, which shows the rise of Black comedy and highlights comedians' role in society. The documentary premieres Wednesday, June 29 at 9:00 p.m. EST.

RELATED: Richard Pryor's Daughter Rain Says He Was Honest About 'His Demons and His Addictions' During Her Childhood

In conversation about how much comedy has changed over the years, Janine Rubenstein asked Pryor about her "reaction to the Oscars, and cancel culture," referring to the moment when Will Smith purposefully walked up the stage to slap Oscars host Chris Rock across the face last March.

"I feel devastated for Chris," Pryor said.

Pryor has met both Smith and Rock, describing them as "very kind" and "really good guys." In this instance, she felt, it was less about "canceling" comedy and "more about an interpersonal relationship."

RELATED: Jada Pinkett Smith Addresses 2022 Oscars on RTT: My 'Hope' Is That Will Smith, Chris Rock 'Reconcile'

chris rock and will smith
chris rock and will smith

Getty (2) Chris Rock (L); Will Smith

"You know, we're in this weird time right now where everyone's on an extreme," she explained. "I think many comedians are feeling like they're facing 'the silencing.' So to me, [the furor around the slap] is just normal in terms of the way the world works, and how everything gets politicized at the moment."

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Pryor went on to describe how much things have since her father's heyday: "When my dad was doing it, you could say those things and nobody got really offended. They kind of either saw themselves and could reflect and then ... it became, they were 'inside on the joke' type of thing."

But despite a shifting culture around comedy, Pryor believes that the art form will "keep moving," and "Chris is going to keep telling his jokes cause he's funny and he's smart."

"So yay. Comedy did not die," she joked.

Check out more episodes of PEOPLE Every Day, airing on Apple podcasts, iHeartMedia, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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