The Slap Heard Around The World

Out of boredom, waiting for glue to dry so I could stain a repaired tray, I turned on the TV to watch part of the Oscar spectacle around 9:30 pm Sunday night. I haven’t watched the Hollywood spectacle for years and I quickly regret my decision to tune in.

I watched it live when Will Smith attacked Chris Rock and at first, I thought it was a stunt, a joke for itself, but quickly I understood this was not the case. There were no words, the TV channel I was watching blogged Mr. Smith pottymouth out -which I appreciated.

What do I think about it, you wonder?

Idiotic behavior, an embarrassment for the industry. It is a sign that some who say they serve as role models for young people now model violent behavior.

I wish Chris Rock would press charges.

What angers me the most is what message it sends to the kids who are watching this. “Hey, go to school tomorrow and it’s ok if you turn to violence if you don’t like what the other person is saying?”

Today I watched it again because it was literally everywhere online. I wanted to see the BEFORE. After watching it, I don’t think Mr. Smith was defending his wife. He laughed first, only when he looked over at his wife and realized she was mad, did he get up and slapped Chris Rock. Does that mean Will Smith was defending HIMSELF?

What’s wrong with Mrs. Smith anyway? Can’t she defend herself? Isn’t she the one who asked all colored people to boycott the Oscar? So she is not timid or shy and can speak up?

A comedian made a joke (nothing unheard of in Hollywood because that’s what comedians do) and Will Smith got violent. Afterward, his colleagues gave him a standing ovation for his Oscar speech. It was brilliantly created but also truly scary. He tried to turn his violence into something noble. His tears and his comparisons to a real person who he was portraying seemed like manipulations to justify his actions.

The reaction of the audience when Will Smith, in tears, accepted the Oscar, is what really got to me. CNN reported today “The Academy leadership strongly considered removing Will Smith from last night’s broadcast following the incident. There were immediate discussions, but the Academy decision-makers were seated in various spots in the Dolby Theatre and couldn’t decide before he won the best actor.”

For heaven’s sake could someone please give these dinosaurs a smartphone and explain to them how texting works? It’s not rocket science.

Well, now, that they’ve come to their sense, mainly because of the uproar today that forced them to react, how about taking back the award, pressing charges, and banning Mr. Smith from the industry? Too harsh, you think?

What would they do to me?

Why was there no security? Why wasn’t he arrested? Why is nobody pressing charges? Is it because Mr. Smith won an Oscar? Or because he is black? Or because he is rich?

Does that mean he is better than we are? No, he is not.

I bet it would take about three seconds and security would arrest any ordinary citizen who would attack a comedian or any other person working on or off stage.

Chris Rock was entitled to practice his craft without fear of intimidation. His joke seemed mild-manners and appropriate to an audience of experienced Hollywood insiders. Mr. Smith should face consequences for his actions including withdrawal of the Oscar, banned from future ceremonies, and criminal and civil charges for the assault. Otherwise, Hollywood is setting the stage for ever more outrageous stunts of this type.

We complain about violence on the streets of America and bullying in the classroom. Now the world can see where young people get their ideas. While the privileged in Hollywood were patting themselves on the back for honoring people of color, the deaf, transgender people, gays, and Ukraine, they couldn’t resist honoring violence when they gave Mr. Smith a standing ovation.

Why oh why did I watch part of the Oscars? I should have gone to bed.

Chris Rock reacted professionally. I hope I will someday reach Chris Rock’s level of composure.

Personally, I don’t like comments about anyone’s physical appearance but we all had to deal with it at one point in our life. But, was Chris Rock’s actual joke intended to be degrading? GI Jane is after all a story about a barrier-breaking woman if I am not totally mistaken.

Tomorrow I will have to apologize to my husband. I will assure him I will make no more jokes about his receding hairline or the fact that he is a little bit bald in the back. I will be quiet until he tells me otherwise, which won’t take long, because he makes fun of it himself.

21 thoughts on “The Slap Heard Around The World

  1. Violence is never the answer… I was shocked by Will Smith’s actions and more so by the people who applauded him later. Chris Rock should have filed charges. I saw this week Will Smith went to some private spiritual guidance somewhere… he needs more than guidance I think!

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  2. It seems Will has opened Pandora’s Box here. He may have seen it as an act of shivalry (an old school slap, no punch) but maybe this should have been a gesture at the after show party. Between 2 dudes, live goes on and they chat over beer. Comedians are, well, comedians (sometimes they don’t know how thin that line was, they shouldn’ve stepped over). You have to be a good sport. Also, we have no idea what keeps the big stars going (and skinny!!!), maybe he had a bit too much of that that night. I wonder how society would talk about this, if one of them would have been white. He stood up for his lady; however, violence is never an answer and especially not at an event like that. He made it so far and now he blew it. Sadly enough, nobody talks about her condition, that was really the cause. Great chance; outcome shocking

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  3. I think that Chris Rock’s joke “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you” was in poor taste because Jada is dealing with a medical condition called alopecia, which causes hair loss. So, making a joke about her shaved head by calling her GI Jane was insensitive. I agree that Will was way out of line. Perhaps, he should have let Jada handle it herself. She could have spoken to Chris Rock backstage and let him know why she didn’t appreciate his joke. I watched the video again up to the moments before the slap and you’re right. Will was laughing initially and then, he probably looked at Jada and when he saw that she was upset, he decided to get up and smack Chris Rock. Some people think that Will should have defended his wife while the majority of people think that he went too far. And you’re right. This will haunt him for a long time. Even his mother was shocked. She said he had never done anything like that before. It will be interesting to see what the Academy Awards Leadership will do. I stopped watching every single award show a long time ago. Can’t stand them.

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  4. I went to bed at 9:30pm and woke to all the drama. It was bizarre!! First thing I thought was ‘Oh no! He’s sabotaged all he’s accomplished!” I stayed away from the clips of the incident until now. Everything you’ve said here it true. What Chris Rock said (and he began with ‘Jada I love you’) was mild even though it was at her expense. Such a sad situation. I loved the movie King Richard and Richard Williams said about what you said.

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  5. I only saw it on the news. I have to wonder if it was a publicity stunt. Remember, they are all actors! In any case, if I were ever to be on Jeopardy (not gonna happen), I would not get any popular culture answers correct.

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    • I wondered about it too but now think that Will Smith thought it would make him look good and it backfired. As for the celebrities and my knowledge about them. Hmmm I am good with movies from the ’60, ’70, ’80 and maybe some of the ’90. I am not much of a TV person. I have one in my workroom so I have a noise source other than music.

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  6. I have always thought the modern Oscars are purely self indulgent nonsense. The presenters seem more intent on their own careers and insulting as many people as they can, rather than actually informing the audience. The nominees all feel obliged to smile, laugh, and reluctantly congratulate one another. Perhaps we would do better having a different award ceremony each year for the Best City Clerk/ Best Delivery Driver/ Best Street Cleaner etc. And the award for the Best Blogger goes to ………………… This envelope seems to be stuck with gorilla glue!

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    • I so agree with you. I loved watching the Oscars when I was younger. The lifetime achievement award was something I really looked forward to. Everybody was so elegant, it seemed like a a different world. Today so much is staged and fake. I seriously thought it was a waste of time watching it.

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  7. I didn’t watch it except for the slap down, and all of the ‘stars,’ rushing to comfort him.
    ” Does that mean Will Smith was defending HIMSELF?”
    Yes. Plus everyone of these overpaid exhibitionist narcissists got goodie bags totalling more than $200, 000.
    This is why they said they “stand” with the Ukraine, without naming the name. Putin might invest in their next movie.

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