Well, the Oscars were hoping for a ratings boost and I have a feeling that Will Smith helped deliver that. Although it might have come at the price of possibly assaulting Chris Rock.
Hollywood shall momentarily rejoice.
I’m sure by now you have seen the video of “The Slap” seen and heard around the world. If not, here is the original story posted last night right after it happened by my colleague Susie Moore Oscars So Fight. From that article…
But I surely did not expect to see what just happened between Chris Rock and Will Smith. Rock cracked a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, saying he was looking forward to “GI Jane 2” (presumably in reference to her shorn head — Pinkett Smith purportedly suffers from alopecia). Jada looked none-too-pleased at the crack, and then Will got up and strode toward Rock, who initially seemed to play it off.
That was — until Smith hauled off and smacked him.
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
Rock was clearly stunned after this confrontation and for those who think this was staged, God love ya. Chris Rock is a fabulous comic but not that good of an actor. As you can hear clearly on the video which was captured by our friends via Japanese TV, Smith is on some sort of rampage.
He yells: “Keep My wife’s name out of your [email protected]#$%G Mouth!” And he does this twice. You can see from the reactions of people in the audience that they thought at first it was part of the show but quickly realized that Smith had snapped.
Rock handled himself damn near perfectly at first, joking that Will Smith had just smacked the s*** out of him. When Smith started yelling and Rock calmly explained that it was a G.I. Jane joke, he moved on.
The overall point that Smith missed was that it was a joke.
The backlash and even praise on social media were, of course, instantaneous and Smith was both applauded and chastised for his clear overreaction.
However, the repercussions are just beginning.
There has been a small but growing movement of comics for a couple of years now starting to push back on the notion that there are things that can’t be said because people’s feelings get hurt. I and others have written about this right here at RedState in the past. Here is one example I wrote last year Comics Like Ricky Gervais, Dave Chappelle and Bill Burr are Saving America.
Chris Rock is one of the most successful and respected comics of the last 25 years and he told a mild joke last night about Will Smith’s wife, Jada. Make no mistake about it, that was a mild joke because if Rock had wanted to, he could have gone into the infidelity that Jada has admitted to in their marriage.
So if anyone thinks that Chris Rock’s peers are going to sit by and allow one of their own to be attacked over a joke, you are going to watch a magnificent display of how good comics can dissect you in a heartbeat. I’m not talking just about big names either — you are going to have up-and-comers, people who are somewhat known, all dive in on how Smith totally overreacted to this joke.
There is no escaping the verbal arse-kicking Will Smith is now going to take and he deserves every bit of it.
If you are one of those people, though, who feels that he was totally justified in defending his wife over such a lame joke you are part of the problem in this country today. Everyone understands the need to protect a loved one from any sort of attack. Yet this was not a life-and-death matter — this was, at worst, a lame joke. Your feelings being hurt are not a reason to commit an assault on someone.
Instead of laughing at the joke at first which was caught on camera, Smith could have a gussied-up the acting bit and just frowned at Rock. Then after the show or at one of the afterparties, he could have pulled Chris aside and told him he didn’t find it funny. Smith has now given the impression that your feelings are all that matter and your reaction is always justified.
This is, of course, nonsense served up on a Hollywood silver platter.
As one of my friends wrote on Twitter right after WIll had his overload and breakdown:
Can you imagine if everyone who ever had their feelings hurt by a comedian, just went up on stage and socked them in the face? Grow up, man
She is exactly right.
Unfortunately for Will and Jada Smith, they won’t be able to stop the onslaught of people laughing at their expense via the profession of professional comics. The former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air thought that he was being Superman and defending his gal like that, but he’s not going to be able to intimidate or punch all of the comedians that are going to be coming after him in the next couple of years. They are going to carve up his arse like a 25-pound turkey at Thanksgiving and it will be hilarious to watch.
Simply put, when you overreact to a joke you become the butt of a joke for a very long time and WIll Smith deserves every bit of what is coming to him.
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