“It was a joke inappropriately and disrespectfully directed to an ailing person, embarrassing her.”
American actor Will Smith has suffered a backlash from the recent incident on Oscar Awards night in which he slapped comedian Chris Rock.
Smith apparently could not take Rock’s joke, referring to his wife Jada Pinkett Smith as “GI Jane” for her shaved head.
Mrs. Smith shaved as she suffers a worsening affliction called alopecia, abnormal loss of hair.
The scene instantly went viral on social media.
Not quite a few, including fellow actors, were displeased by Will Smith’s “violent” reaction to Rock’s joke while presenting the award for Best Documentary.
Smith, who went on to win the Best Actor Award for King Richard, apologized to the Academy during his acceptance speech for his demeanor.
Despite his apology, Smith’s action has been denounced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a statement and will be subject to “disciplinary proceedings” for violating standards of conduct or threatening behavior.
For the inappropriate behavior as an Academy member, the actor could face suspension, expulsion, and other sanctions.
If Will Smith had indeed overreacted to a “mere joke,” I would say the Academy officers and his critics themselves are overreacting, too.
They must understand, as many others do, that the actor merely reacted normally in taking offense at Chris Rock’s inappropriate joke against his loved one in a public event.
It was a joke inappropriately and disrespectfully directed to an ailing person, embarrassing her.
The illness alopecia is like a curse befalling a woman, especially in Hollywood where image is of prime importance.
Chris Rock has not expressed remorse for offending Mrs. Smith and her family.
Not quite a few would have reacted in a similar manner.
I would have reacted similarly.
But I would have reacted differently, being more tolerant if the comedian cracked the joke in a comedy bar or a private gathering.
You see, in a comedy bar, everyone in the audience is fair game and can be targeted by the standup comedian without warning.
I have experienced being the subject of a joke by a standup comedian in a comedy bar where you just have to be a good sport.
The thing is Chris Rock’s joke will likely be copied by some people, targeting those suffering from alopecia or hair loss.
It is stereotyping and unfair to those people, and it is not funny at all.
If, for example in a well-attended wedding ceremony, one joked about your loved one in a disrespectful way.
Would you take it sitting down and laugh out loud like the other people?
I would have smacked the joker bigtime.
Chris Rock and the like should first consider the appropriateness of a joke on anyone at any given occasion or place.
Be careful of who to joke about because you might end up at the receiving end of a big joke, too.