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Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock and The World Reacts

The Oscars had more in store than people were ready for.

The slap heard around the world. Oscar's De La Hoya. Slapsgiving. Unfortunately, Will Smith slapping Chris Rock for Rock's joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Smith's wife, is what is dominating the news. More than just the news. It's dominating coffee talks, water cooler discussions at work, even sociological and racial discussions. There are a lot of valid points and discussions worth having about this situation. I admit it is very controversial and even racial in nature. I recommend allowing Black voices to be heard louder than any other voices at this time. What I am going to do is show some social media reactions from celebrities about what happened. 

Social Media Reacts

This is something I noted, as well. Violence is never good, but let's not pretend like Will Smith punched Rock with a closed fist. It seems like the violent aspect of Smith's actions might be over-shadowing the idea that jokes at the expense of Black women are never addressed and deserve to be dealt with. Was this the best way? I'll leave that to the Black community to discuss, as I don't feel it is my place to interject here, and I want to listen.

I shared this one immediately after because it appears to be the other side of this complicated coin. The idea of 'protecting' your spouse through violence does speak to the idea of toxic masculinity and outmoded ideas of wives or spouses being treated as property. I am not taking an opinion on this particular take, but in the interest of sharing as many angles on this situation as possible, this is a valid and concerning notion. 

Can we assault comedians when we don't like their material? This seems to be Kathy Griffin's point in her take. It's pretty reductive if we're being honest, as there was way more context to the Smith/Rock interaction than this, but two back-to-back takes from people who seemed to miss at least some of the context. 

Tiffany Haddish, comedian and actress, took a different stance in her statement to the Los Angeles Times.

"I think Chris was messy. As a woman who had a husb, I wish my husb wld have stood up 4 me the way (Will) stood up for (Jada),” the Girls’ Trip star told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s what every woman wants, right? She was hurt. And he protected his wife. And that’s what a man is supposed to do."

This is Haddish's opinion which would probably be characterized as a polarizing opinion. As with many things in life, context matters but Haddish's opinion is equally if not more valid.

Given the heaviness of what happened, I wanted to include some takes that were just meant for laughs. Conan O'Brien is always funny, and this made me chuckle.

As for more serious takes, Nicki Minaj wrote a Twitter thread that has a lot of deeper thoughts and emotions.

"The husband gets a front row seat to his wife’s pain… he’s the 1 consoling her… drying her tears behind closed doors when those cameras go off. Social media has made ppl feel that these 'husbands' won’t ever run into them in real life. (Continued again(last time)on next tweet) You just got to witness in real time what happens in a man’s soul when he looks over to the woman he loves & sees her holding back tears from a 'little joke' at her expense. This is what any & every real man feels in that instant. while y’all seeing the joke he’s seeing her pain."

Final Thoughts

The memes have also been dominating social media. You will see the photo of Smith in mid-slap, with some captions attached describing whatever joke of the moment in tow. However you feel about the Smith/Rock interaction, nobody can deny that it is dominating the news and social media discussions. At best, perhaps it's a helpful discussion about any number of topics that are enveloped in the subtext of what happened. If you are only following it for the humorous reactions, that's okay too.