Comedian Chris Rock was one of the announcers for this year’s Oscars awards ceremony, it was expected that he would make a few jokes, though one of his jokes fell flat when he made fun of Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, which incited Will Smith to impulsively slap Rock. Which shouldn’t come from a public figure that is supposed to be a role model to many.
“Jada, I love you, GI Jane 2 can’t wait to see ya”, Chris Rock joked.
Jada has a condition called alopecia which causes someone to lose hair and attacks a person’s immune system stopping hair growth. Which is the reason Jada had a shaved head. This joke may have humiliated Jada, especially since it is a condition that she is greatly impacted by and has fought with hair loss. Will’s behavior was hypocritical because he laughed at the joke at first and then reacted in her defense, his emotions were seemingly all over the place.
During the joke Will is seen laughing and during that second the camera cuts back to Chris with Will approaching the stage, which left the audience confused about what was going on. In fact it seemed that perhaps the slap was staged, until Will started cursing at Chris Rock. “Get my wife’s name out of your F****** mouth”, Will yelled from the audience.” It clearly seemed Will had an impulsive reaction to his wife’s disdain.
Chris Rock is a comedian, so it’s doubtful he was aware of her illness but it’s unclear since they have worked together for years in the movie ‘Madagascar’ and are friends. Yes, it was insensitive, but it did not justify a slap in the face in front of an audience and thousands of viewers, much alone having a permanent mark on social media platforms. Will’s reaction was wholly unjustified, and turning to violence on television was completely unnecessary. This is hardly an example of a positive role model for someone who had just won an Oscar and Will ruined his “own” memory of winning his first Oscar.
Chris Rock’s reaction on the contrary remained professional after the incident on stage in front of the audience. He maintained his composure and appeared calm and collected by proceeding to say, “that was the greatest night in the history of television.’’
Will Smith accepting his first Academy award for his performance in the role of “King Richard” was emotional and apologetic to the other nominees and the academy. The apology is like a band-aid across a bullet hole, hardly a worthy apology.
Will’s response to Chris utterly overshadowed other truly fantastic accomplishments that night, such as the film CODA becoming the first film from a streaming service to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Also Kotsur made history by being the first deaf person to win an Oscar for acting. In addition, Disney’s success ‘Encanto’ won the Oscar for best animated movie at the 2022 Academy Awards, which gives a lot of representation of the latino community next to Coco.
Although Will took to his instagram account to formally apologize to both the academy and chris rock by saying “I would like to publicly apologize to you Chris..i was out of line and i was wrong, i’m embarrassed on my actions were no indidictive of the man i want to be.”
It is never acceptable to resort to violence against someone who offended you , regardless of how insulted you may feel, especially in light of recent events around the world. This is not acceptable as someone who is considered as a person to look up to.
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