Hi, I’m Jeremy and I’m an asshole in recovery. I hold no position of moral authority. It is my sentiment Will Smith should have pulled Chris Rock aside and had a conversation backstage. There are a ton of opinions online about what transpired, some of which I find problematic. Let me be clear, I indulge in the buffoonery by sharing memes and telling jokes. This is not a think piece condemning such activity. Instead, I want to share my thoughts on the justification of the physical assault. I was raised to “keep your hands to yourself.” In addition to, “if someone put their hands on you, fuck em’ up.”
There have been many simps championing the narrative Will Smith defended his wife. Not sure if I watched the same video but Jada Pinkett-Smith did not appear to be held hostage or under duress. The couple are no strangers to the world of entertainment. People who choose the Hollywood lifestyle enter an unspoken contract where criticism is routine. You’d think they have skin thick enough to withstand a lighthearted crack about Jada’s hairstyle. By the way, alopecia is not a life-threatening disease. Men and women have it. This is why guys are made fun of for patchy beards and bald heads.
After all, Jada Pinkett-Smith has shared intimate details of her marriage on her Red Table Talk platform, spawning the infamous crying meme of Will Smith. Even going as far as exposing her inadequate sex life with him. Not to mention the hit song Entanglements released in 2020, where August Alsina detailed the sexual exploits with Jada. The song is catchy, I’m guilty of having it on repeat. Will did not attack or shout profane language at a person who had an affair with his wife under the same roof. Yet I am supposed to believe he reached a tipping point from a corny joke? Doesn’t add up.
An average Joe like me can laugh about this because I don’t have to pay an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) violation fee. Nothing like this has happened in the history of the Academy Awards, one of the biggest platforms in the industry. Viewership for the Oscars been on steady decline for the last decade, in addition to the #OscarsSoWhite scrutiny, which highlighted the lack of diversity and inclusion for award nominations. Actor/comedian Kevin Hart stepped down as host for the Oscars in 2018 after backlash from homophobic tweets resurfaced.
I question why Will Smith was not held to the same standard if words and attacks hold the same weight. To make matters worse, no security guards arrived to escort him from the premises. He casually sat back down like it was nothing. If that isn’t ego and privilege, I don’t what is. We all know double-standards exist. They are a benefit to some, a detriment to others. So, I find it pretty ironic the same crowd lamenting “protect women” online are condoning the actions of Will Smith. Does Chris Rock, a Black man, not deserve protecting too?
Celebrities like Tiffany Haddish said, “Jada better take care of business when they get home.” This perpetuates the type of toxic masculinity many men are accused of. If one is to follow such logic, that means Will should receive a sexual reward for behaving like a coward? Jails are packed with men who’ve committed violent crimes, seeking the same kind of attention. Not the type of message you want to send.
Will made bad choices, from the hypocritical award speech to the omission of Chris Rock from his apology. Smith did release a statement 24 hours later but only to save face. If I was Chris, I would have made a verbal in-person apology one of my conditions for not pressing charges. He took a Super Saiyan level slap, with a side of humiliation, and Will Smith still free. I think Rock showed tremendous character and restraint. Fun fact, sales rose significantly for his upcoming shows since the incident.
Another interesting thing no one seems to be discussing is the fact Rock has legal grounds to sue the Academy itself. He was at the workplace, where his safety should have been insured. It’s not too late for him to change his mind and initiate a lawsuit against both parties. We supposed to be talking about how good of a film King Richard is, not how two men overshadowed the hard work everyone put in for the event. I wouldn’t have hit Smith back either. Anyone with knowledge of combat sports will tell you the height, weight, and wingspan of Smith put Rock at a huge disadvantage.
Smith also has boxing experience as evident in his stance. So, all you wanna-be macho folk can shut the hell up with your, I would have done XYZ. Stop it! Weird how people were consoling Smith like he got the taste knocked out his mouth, patting him on the back, and shit. Meanwhile, Chris Rock being victim blamed. Ridiculous how double standards work huh? At the end of the day, keep your hands to yourself, and control your emotions. Your triggers are your personal responsibility. I wish peace and therapy to both those men.