I don’t normally get too caught up in the lives of celebrities and Hollywood folk because the lives they live are, often, so out-of-touch with reality. These folks are often referred to as elite, which implies they’re above and superior to the common folk, and since society has encouraged and enabled the ideology of over-glorifying them, we tend to believe this train of thought.
It is probable that you heard about the drama that went down at the Oscars this past Sunday, even if you, like myself, don’t give a shit about celebrity award ceremonies. In case you didn’t, I’ll sum it up for you; Chris Rock, a comedian, made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair, who is married to Will Smith. Jada has alopecia, a hair-loss condition, and has made her insecurities about her autoimmune condition public. So, when Chris Rock referred to her as G.I. Jane because of her shaved head, Will, understandably, took issue with it.
Here’s where it gets interesting. I’ve watched the videos circulating, and immediately after Rock made this reference to Jada, Will can be seen laughing. The camera goes to Jada, who rolls her eyes at the comment, and it was after Jada’s reaction that Will marched onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face. Rock, visibly stunned, tries to carry on with his segment, until Will, not once, but twice, starts yelling quite aggressively at Chris, from the audience, to keep his wife’s name out of his fucking mouth.
It caused quite a stir, which makes sense seeing as the Academy Awards are seen as a pristine event, and to my knowledge, nothing like this has ever occurred at this particular awards ceremony in the past.
In short, both Rock and Smith are in the wrong. Should Rock have made a joke about Jada’s health condition? No. Did Rock know Jada has alopecia? Unknown. Should Will have responded to the jab with violence? No.
Personally, I think both of these guys fucked up, but I think Will handled the situation extremely poorly. Furthermore, I take issue with the message Will sent through his actions. This dude literally assaults another man on live television, but only after he saw his wife’s reaction to the comment towards her, and then throws a hissy fit, front and centre at the Oscars by spewing profanity. Then this guy goes on to win Best Actor and gets a standing ovation. So, to summarize, Will Smith proved you can handle an argument with unnecessary violence and still be rewarded and celebrated.