The Oscars Assault

Today I found out that Will Smith has allegedly assaulted Chris Rock at the Oscars. I was told that it was a punch. I didn’t believe it. I thought it was staged. When I got home earlier, I searched YouTube for the clip. It is on there.

I can’t really believe it. When I started to watch the clip, and I heard the joke about Smiths wife, I didn’t think much of it. Will Smith is also laughing at the joke. But off camera, he must rise from his seat and start to walk on stage.

This is where we start to see that divide between rich and poor. Not only can the rich and famous get away with assaulting someone on live air, but also killing people too. That latter part is me referring to Alec Baldwin shooting someone on set. You see in the normal world, if I did that, slapped someone hard in the face, I’d be arrested. There are millions of witnesses, and yet, what is the outcome?

Chris Rock handled it well being a comedian. You can tell that he is genuinely shocked and the incident seems to be one of two things. It could be the result of a hidden feud between the pair and this is the climax, which is not unusual in Hollywood, where stabbing people in the back on live air seems to be the norm. It could also be the result of Will Smith being so rich and famous that it has gone to his head. Seriously, what was he thinking?

Being rich does not give you a free pass. In fact, being such a role model ought to have consequences. I suspect his masters will be having a word with him, possibly some form of payout to keep it ‘looking good.’ Then there is the mass of delusional celebrities stating that he was defending his wife. No… he attacked Chris Rock. That is not defending anything. If he had shouted at Chris from his seat rather than hitting him, that would have been defending her. Instead he took it too far. I guess you can see ever so slightly that he is upset about the incident. Maybe he had enough of the roasting that they all get? Maybe he had no other way to demonstrate ‘doing the right thing.’

But in reality, there is more to this. To do it live on air, in front of all those people is more a statement of ‘look who I am, and what I can do,’ rather than being a defence against words. Also, since we are talking about jokes, it was not that funny. Free speech campaigners including famous celebs have constantly advocated for freedom when it comes to stand up comedy. Is Will Smith stating that he is against freedom of expression in comedy? What he is ultimately trying to prove? The matter could and should have been resolved off screen and no doubt that it will impact his image.

There are better ways to deal with issues. I urge you all not to take notice of this incident as a way to deal with them. You can do it better. Will Smith can too, and I suspect that if he is a good human with a good heart that he will apologise. Apologising at the Oscars to the academy is his way of bowing to the corporate masters who can cut him off from it all. Basically, he realised he messed up.

What do you think? It’s a hot topic right now, so I wanted to see how you all felt too.

2 thoughts on “The Oscars Assault

  1. *rolls up sleeves* here goes. I don’t condone violence in any form, BUT, he had a point. Jada was mortified when everyone in the room was laughing. Will wasn’t going to let that lie. No doubt he thought he was being a great role model to his son. This is how you treat men who disrespect our women.

    Having said that, you’re right on many levels. Being rich does NOT give anyone a free pass (although it seems it does, time and time again.) But we don’t know the whole story. It seems this is more nuanced than just Will Smith decking Chris Rock for an off-colour joke about his wife. In the beginning he was laughing as well, but then saw how upset Jada was, and probably made a lightning quick assessment , knowing the world was watching her be upset and waiting for him to react to it. So he did the most obvious thing. A man insults your wife. You punch him. End of. But for most people, that would be in a bar or somewhere else with a finite number of people who will forget it the next day. He was on the world’s stage and he had plenty of time to think this course of action might be a really bad idea.

    Maybe he thought, halfway up that long walk, “this probably isn’t my best move,” but once he rose from his seat, it was too late. Maybe that’s why he bitch-slapped Rock instead of laying him out. The average drag queen would have thrown a tougher punch, to be fair. He made his point, then compounded it with the verbal.

    Yes, he should have contented himself with the verbal. It would have had just as much of an impact. A lot has been said about his state of mind and how he should have used the opportunity to speak up for women being disrespected, or roast Chris Rock instead and and and… Sorry, but that’s baloney. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. How many times have we wanted to throw a punch or a glass of wine or put a baseball bat through someone’s windshield? I know I have. It’s really easy to judge people without being inside their heads. Like you, I hope he apologises to Rock publicly, but equally, I’d like Rock to apologise to Jada. What he said was mean and unnecessary. She’s a strong, capable woman, but she was hurt, and god knows there are enough times when women get disrespected and no one does a damned thing.

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  2. The thing with the Oscars is that they get roasted every year by every host. Will Smith and Jada would have known this. I do feel like there is something going on behind the scenes. Either that or Jada has been targeted by others and Will just felt like it was 1 more joke too far… At the end of the day he is rich and famous and I felt bad for him afterwards, despite the fact he acted quickly, as you say he must have made a lightning decision. He worked hard to get there no doubt. He also still received his Oscar.

    With the joke about Jada, I suspect him laughing at the joke and being caught on camera might have embarrassed him. I would hope that violence is not condoned at the Oscars, I am surprised that security didn’t prevent him getting on stage, or remove him from the theater. Chris Rock was not under any illusions as to the type of roasting allowed, or even jokes, given that Ricky Gervais has stood in the same position and called them all pedophile affiliates of Harvey Weinstein. I though that Chris Rock had said sorry. All he said was he would not talk about Jada again.

    If we are talking about standing up for women then a lot of things can be done. But in this case I don’t believe Will Smith did that. It has however highlighted the fact that one too many jokes about an illness or difference can lead people to act in this way. Joking and abuse blend into one another in a hurtful way, which can seem confusing to the untrained eye.

    It is such a polarising event that I am unsure what the outcome will be. Jada doesn’t deserve to be joked about because of her illness. Rock doesn’t deserve to be hit. The thin line of divide has grown bigger no doubt. It would be nice to see change in how women are treated generally, which has happened over the years, yet is still not at the level you would expect for a modern society (Hollywood).


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