The Slap

I am sure the incident where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars will forever be labeled as “The Slap.”

I must admit, I don’t watch the Oscars anymore. Haven’t in years. At one point they were the top piece of entertainment each year but as I got older, they changed. The Oscars have bowed to political pressure and outside influences as to who and what should win.

Not that this is something new. It simply became new to me several years ago. However, what you could count on when watching was professional standards of conduct among its patrons. I mean the worst thing anyone had seen up to that point was when Marlon Brando refused his Oscar and sent a young Native American woman to speak in his place.

Those running the Oscars didn’t want to let her speak for Brando, but in the end, they did. It made news of course, which is what Brando wanted, but it wasn’t violent. I find myself totally displeased with the way this entire slap business was handled.

At first, like so many others I thought it was staged. Both men involved, Chris Rock and Will Smith, being known comedians it was only natural to think it was something they had planned. However, it wasn’t. Will Smith got up on the stage and slapped Chris Rock then walked off. When he sat down, he began shouting at Rock to keep his wife’s name the f*%k out of his mouth.

I find several things about this incident to be appalling. First off, the moment it was discovered Will Smith had assaulted Chris Rock, he should have been removed from the show. If I had done such a thing, I would still be sitting in the jail house.

The second is they let Will Smith accept his award. Why would you allow a man who had assaulted your Emcee to stay and be awarded? I don’t care that he apologized to the academy. He didn’t apologize to Chris Rock.

Why did Will Smith assault Chris Rock? It’s because he told a joke about his wife. Mentioned he was looking forward to watching Jada Pinkett Smith in GI Jane 2. A joke. The moment before he was making jokes about Javier Bardem and his wife Penelope Cruz.  

Since the Oscars started, they have hired Emcees to make fun of the actors. This made those who watched, laugh. Most of the jokes aren’t too personal. I didn’t think it was when I watched the footage. Jada Smith is bald. The joke was a good one. It didn’t seem offensive to me. It shouldn’t have to them.

Celebrities are often the butt of jokes. If they go to any form of awards shows, they know they stand a good chance of being the butt of a joke or two. Having thick skin is a part of being a celebrity. If you don’t want to be joked on, then don’t go. Especially if you are known to crack a joke or two that could be considered offensive yourself.

Will Smith has cracked many an offensive joke about others. I personally feel he is one of those celebrities whose racism has influenced many of those younger than him. He displays his racism in jokes, but it is racism, nonetheless.

Now to have actually assaulted a man for doing his job then acting like he was on the streets only shows me how entitled the man is. He got away with it. I don’t care that his wife’s lack of hair isn’t a fashion statement but a side effect of a disease she is suffering from. It is no excuse for the man to assault someone.

This shouldn’t bother me. It is just actors. Most actors act like they have cured cancer or flown to the moon or performed open heart surgery. They make us feel good because they are performers. People who are given a script and say the words others want them to say for the most part.

I must give Chris Rock his due here. Most of us would have beaten the crap out of the man who slapped us. Maybe Chris would have under different circumstances, but he was on live television. He tried to make it look like it was a joke on him. Told the world Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of him. Tried to make everyone laugh at it but then Smith continued to act like a complete ass.

I find myself angry. I am especially angry at those who let Smith get away with it. Security should have removed him. He should have been arrested. However, he is a movie star, so he gets away with whatever he wants. Talk about privilege.

I have always enjoyed the movies Will Smith has been a part of. I have never liked the man’s public persona but then again, I don’t like most actor’s personas. It takes a certain set of beliefs to make it as an actor and I find I don’t enjoy being around them. I set that aside because I am not a part of their lives. I simply watch them perform.

I doubt if I will watch another Will Smith movie. I will never watch the Oscars again.

The sad part about all of this is there are young men out there who think what Smith did was justified. Young men who think they can act violently towards others, and everyone can just suck it up when it is over. To hit whomever they please when it suits them because Will Smith did it.

As a man who is an example to so many young men, I find this the item which makes me the angriest. That on street corners and in schools, young men are going to praise Will Smith and condemn Chris Rock when it should be the other way around.

I hoped you are as angry as I am about this. Perhaps if we get angry enough someone will do something about the man’s behavior, otherwise, we can look forward to more just like it.

I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.

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