During the Oscars, Will Smith and Chris Rock were part of one of the most uncomfortable, disturbing and talked about moments to ever be seen on national television.
As is the tradition in these types of events, Rock roasted many members of the public. It happens every year at the Oscars, Golden Globes, ESPYs, Grammys and, for that matter, every late night talk show and Bill Maher. But Rock’s statement to Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, apparently crossed a line when he said, “‘GI Jane 2,’ I can’t wait to see it.” The following video shows what ensued.
Will Smith initially laughed at the joke, but then came on stage and slapped Rock in the face. For those who don’t know, Smith’s wife suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Then, from his front-row seat, he shouted twice, “Keep my wife’s name out of your [expletive] mouth.” The audience was stunned. Twitter exploded. As a result, this issue was examined from every possible angle.
I will now give my opinion.
5 Leadership Lessons From Will Smith’s Slap Heard Around the World
We live in a lawless country
Will Smith should have been arrested. Period. Aggression is generally defined as “intentionally bringing another person into reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact. Physical injuries are not necessary. I think Smith’s slap was obviously offensive contact and put Rock in reasonable apprehension of harmful contact.
Note that the legal definition does not specify whether the act was justified or not.
I’m still confused as to why Smith was allowed to return to his seat and less than an hour later he won an award, got a standing ovation and then said ‘I’m called in my life to love people and to protect people. And be a river for my people. This action would indicate that Smith’s river is polluted by hypocrisy and anarchy.
Never have fun at someone else’s expense
I’m also confused as to what Smith expected. He was the presumed Best Actor winner for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard. Smith sat in the front row. Once again, comedians with a history of roasting people were employed to host the show. Traditionally, “making fun” of the stars is what happens at these events.
But we were reminded of a fundamental form of respect and human decency which is to never make fun at someone else’s expense. Dignity is the imprint of God on every human soul. “I was kidding” is never an excuse for degrading comments. Degrading a person and hurting their dignity for the purpose of increasing our own worth or our public reputation is inadvisable and simply unacceptable.
This may be the beginning of the end of the “roasting” and degradation of people and the beginning of the building of others.
Angry people are stupid people
The only difference between anger and danger is a “D”. Since Smith said in his acceptance speech, “I am overwhelmed with what God is calling me to do and be in this world,” let me share with you what God says about angry people. I could have gone on for dozens and dozens more verses but I’ll stop at 15.