A Slap to Be Forgotten: Analyzing the Will Smith and Chris Rock Incident

Julia Strasius, Business Manager

The 94th Annual Oscars definitely left an impression. The news of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock across the face on live television spread like wildfire across media, shocking audiences as they resorted to choosing sides and celebrity drama channels began writing their stories.

The incident ensued after Rock made a G.I. Jane joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, during the show. Will walked towards Rock, slapped him and then proceeded to yell profanities at him. Initially, Will had laughed at the joke, but quickly saw Jada’s disapproval of the remark, and then made his move.

First off, this was an embarrassing action on Smith’s part. He not only made himself look bad, but he caused everyone in the audience to feel uncomfortable, as well as the people watching at home. Who cares? It is just a joke. If he had a problem with it, he could have talked to Rock afterwards, instead of creating a massive scene in the middle of his monologue. The Oscars always has jokes that certain people find offensive; that is not news to anyone. 

For the record though, the joke could have been much worse. G.I. Jane is a strong, independent woman that I think a lot of people would want to embody, and she most definitely rocks the shaved head look. However, it is easy to see how the joke could be taken the wrong way, as it relates to a sensitive topic. Rock stated that he did not know Jada Smith had alopecia, a medical condition which causes hair loss. Otherwise, he would not have made the joke. 

Second of all, this is what has been making the news the past few weeks? I feel like we can all agree that there are way more important things happening in the world than Will Smith having a temper tantrum at a fancy award show. That spiral was completely unnecessary.

Award shows alone have reached their expiration date. For me, I used to look forward to seeing all of the outfits and watching the different monologues, but now, I do not even remember the awards are on and end up just hearing about them the day after. I think it is time for everyone to move on from the Smith-Rock incident and start following the more important, current and significant events in the news.