Will Smith v Chris Rock: The Slap from a Different Perspective

G’day everyone and welcome to another week and another blog!!!

It is almost school holidays here in Australia which means chocolate comas ,I mean Easter, is right around the corner! However there is no rest for me! I am still plotting away at my Major Law Dissertation.

However, that doesn’t mean I am completely unaware to the goings on around the world, including showbiz or when two people get into a scuffle…

Yes I am talking about the slap felt around the world.

If you don’t watch the news, have social media and otherwise live like a hermit, Will Smith ‘aka the Fresh Prince’ decided to slap Chris Rock across the face at the Oscar awards a couple of days ago. Chris Rock made a GI Jane joke about Jada’s shaven head, and Will Smith decided he would react by Slapping him and then swearing in front of an entire audience and the world. Yeah not classy.

So the blog this week, will be more of a conversation starter about the joke and also the potential ramifications of both sides.

So let’s get cracking.

Will Smith V Chris Rock: The Joke.

Not the stage where Will Smith slapped Chris rock but similar. I stage with a white movie screen behind it. The camera is looking down on the audience watching the screen
Photo by Bence Szemerey: https://www.pexels.com/

So, as I said before the Joke was made about Jade Pickett-Smith’s hair cut. She decided to shave it off. Why?

Well because she came out and said she has Alopecia. A medical condition where your hair falls out. It got to a point for her where she couldn’t hide it and decided to shave the remainder off.

For a lot of people, your hair is everything, so it was amazing of her to decide to do that.

This is where the joke went wrong I reckon.

GI Jane involved a women shaving her head after the men in the army mistreated her because she was a women and believed she was not cut out do the the job. So, she shaved her head to get them to take her seriously.

Now, you could look at that as to be seen as someone there to fight for her country, she had to be seen as manly. Which is not only sexist but wrong on all levels .

Or, you could look at the joke Chris Rock made and say he had a go at her by saying she is no longer feminine or a woman because she shaved her head.

Or, could it have been making fun of her Medical Condition??

What does that say to people with a Medical Condition?

If the latter is the case, all scenarios are just as bad, but if he was knowingly making a joke about her condition, I feel so sorry for the cast of CODA sitting in that room. They are deaf, first time at an Oscars even for most of the cast, and had to see the treatment of someone with a medical condition. Not a good look at all.

I even feel sorry for everyone who has a medical condition. Why you may be asking, well because it sets the standards. There are a lot of people who look up to Chris Rock and Will Smith. So seeing Chris Rock making fun of a woman with a shaved head with potentially no regard about her health, shows people it is acceptable to make fun of any person regardless of their circumstances.

It is also poor form as it shows people if a Celebrity like Chris Rock can make fun of someone with a medical condition, then is it open slather for the rest of society?

We have been working so hard to try and stamp out bullying and tasteless jokes like this, and to see it happen on a world wide stage, made me feel super uneasy.

However, was it intended to be harmful though?

The Will Smith Slap

Someone holding a Slateboard against a cork background. An old film camera with film is next to the board
Photo by cottonbro: https://www.pexels.com/photo/

There has been so much debate about this slap. Was it justified, was it not? Should be be charged, should he not?

Violence is never the answer to anything. Granted Will Smith was standing up for his wife, however, there were many ways that he could have gone about this, without resorting to violence and carrying on the way he did afterwards.

Yes, he should have stood up for his wife, but not in the way he did.

What is also showed though was that people are not going to tollerate those kinds of jokes or bullies anymore.

You saw someone standing up for another human being who has a medical condition!

You don’t see that much anymore. People stand there and laugh along or do nothing.

So I love that Will Smith stood up for Jada…. but how it did it is never ok, and easily could have had a conversation behind closed doors.

But the questions is ‘Should he have, or shouldn’t he made a scene like that?’. Would seeing a husband silent also send the wrong message to the public if he didn’t speak out?

The Questions to be asked.

A film camera open with the viewer screen on
Photo by Donald Tong: https://www.pexels.com/

No matter the way you look at the situation, there are several questions that have to be asked here.

Does being a Comedian give Chris Rock the right to make jokes that refers to someone’s medical condition? Or is it pushing the freedom of speech a little too far? Should Chris Rock be held accountable as well?

What will this do for the disability and chronic illness communities? Has it demonstrated that if Celebrities can make jokes then so can we all? Or has it actually highlighted the elephant in the room when it comes to the treatment of people with medical conditions?

Has Will Smith shown people with medical conditions that there will always be someone in their corner? Has it also though shown people that you can hit someone and get away with it?

There are ultimately so many questions that you can ask about this topic. For me, I am concerned all round for those in the Disability/Chronic Illness family of what could be allowed to be said about us still. Also the concerns I have for people’s safety as it could have shown that you can slap someone you don’t agree with and not have anything major happen.

There is the potential for something great and meaningful to come out of this in terms of awareness and education around the treatment of disabled and chronically Ill people, as well as violence towards people in general.

What do you think? I would love to know how you feel.

Hope you are well. I promise next week will be lighter I promise!

Till next time,


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