If you don’t know why Will Smith and Chris Rock are trending right now, consider yourself very lucky and fortunate. At Sunday’s Oscars telecast, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, appearing in G.I. Jane 2. Jade suffers from alopecia which causes her hair to fall out. In 1997, Demi Moore shaved her head to appear in the movie G.I. Jane about the first female to train to be a Navy SEAL.
Everyone was laughing, even Will. Well, not everyone. Jada wasn’t. And it wasn’t until Will saw that, he abruptly walked up on stage and slapped Rock across the face and then went to sit back down screaming at Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” It was a disgusting, disturbing and disrespectful moment that drew a dark cloud over the ceremony. Even worse, Will later won the Best Actor Oscar and gave some teary-eyed speech that sounded more CYA than heartfelt.
Now, put down the pitchforks! I’m not saying what Rock said was right. I’m saying let’s just assume Rock had no fucking clue that Jada had alopecia. I didn’t. Just because they’re all black doesn’t mean they know a lot about each other. Just because Jada has talked about it publicly since 2018, it doesn’t mean everyone knows about it. A lot of other things have been going on in the world in the past four years.
Actors sometimes are in the middle of filming movies and have to take the weekend off to appear at the show. In 2007, Jack Nicholson was at the Oscars with a bald head. Some thought it was a mockery of Britney Spears who had just shaved her head during a mental breakdown. But no, it was for The Bucket List that he was filming.
It’s intriguing Will thought the joke was amusing before Jada told him it wasn’t. Any person who has been bullied knew exactly about this incident. This is when the geeky/nerdy student gets hit by the All-Star quarterback because his cheerleader/preppy princess girlfriend didn’t like someone was looking at her. Afterwards, the Oscars, just like the high school administrators, just tried to pass it off as all is ok. Later, Will went to an afterparty and danced to “Get Jiggy With It.”
I know Will has had some hardships growing up. But his financial money squandering and womanizing in his early years were of his doing. Rock, on the other hand, was bullied for being the only black child in a white environment. And sometimes those who are bullied take things too far because that’s all they know. All the jocks and the preppies make the same jokes but when the geeky nerds do it, it goes too far.
While Jada suffers from alopecia, she’s also battled alcoholism. While Rock didn’t say anything about that (and who would?), he’s also been battling things in his own private life. So, maybe, give the man some a little leeway that he isn’t too focused on what another couple has been going through outside the tabloids.
What’s fucked up is we don’t mind it when Ricky Gervais or Billy Crystal or even Johnny Carson would have said it, but we have reservations about a black man making a joke as we always do when POC comics make jokes. Where was security? Rock may not have a black eye, the Oscars will have a ugly shiner for years to come.
And worse, Will have always have this asterisk next to his win. While I don’t think the Academy will take away his awards, I suspect he won’t be in contention for future roles. And show producers will keep him away from future Oscar telecasts.
I really didn’t care for King Richard and finished watching it a third through. I just didn’t like Richard Williams or Will’s performance of him. In my opinion, he’s a very vain and pompous person, which is just like Will. Worse, Will, like Richard Williams, forced his own kids into a competitive environment where they will unfairly judged before they even had a chance to realize if they wanted to do it.
The violence Will exhibited is telling. It reinforces a stereotype people I grew up around have about black men as well with use of profanity. People have liked Will because he has “represented one of the good ones.” But here lately, these last few years, we’ve learned there’s problems in the Smith household. I don’t think people want a partner who exhibits toxic masculinity the way Will did. And it’s very telling for one that does.
Now, I defended Will when he became a meme for crying for expressing his feelings. But it’s obvious this is a relationship that is very toxic. And it has been for years. While Will and Jada say they have an open marriage, I’m sure there are riffs. In a recent interview with CBS News, Will said to Gayle King there is no infidelity. It’s an awkward moment.
You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwPd84wuwh4
Is Will afraid of Jada taking half the marital assets in the divorce that everyone knows they should just do so they can go their separate ways?
And Will and Jada reportedly been involved in the Church of Scientology in the past which is known more for its abusive practices. While neither are associated with it anymore, it makes you wonder what that household was like when Jaden and Willow were growing up. I’m sure many book publishers have editors waiting to talk to literacy agents.
Going back to the bullying, it’s obvious Rock knew not to hit back. Because it’s never the person who hits who gets in trouble but the one who hits back. We’ve installed this turn the other cheek idea in a warped fucked-up way to reward the ones who commit the violence while condemning the bullied. In other words, Rock should’ve known his place. So far, Rock has said he isn’t going to press charges, but I do think Will did more damage than what would amount to be a six-month suspended sentence, fine and community service work.
This wasn’t chivalry. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Violence isn’t always necessary and should be a last resort. What people saw was a man in his 50s acting like a five-year-old because someone else picked up one of his gifts at the birthday party. Will went into the Oscar show with a smug feeling that the night was all about him.
And finally, for all those that are praising Will, you would be telling others “not to make a scene” if the same thing happened. We live in a world where there is an ugly double standard that puts people of prestige and clout above others and it needs to stop. We’re seeing too much of this. We’ve seen too much of this in the past 10-15 years.
I’m biased. I’m a Zen Buddhis Pacifist. I know at the end of a day, no one ever wins a fight.
What do you think? Please comment.