Chris Rock vs. Will Smith (4 min. rd.)

I am a Will Smith fan. When I say that, I don’t mean those crazy fans standing in the rain waiting for an autograph. I’ve never been such a dedicated fan of anyone. However, I do like Will Smith. I grew up watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and then the Men In Black movies came along. As we all grew up with Will, I appreciated his more serious roles, like Concussion. I also watched, Everybody Hates Chris for a bit. I didn’t see all of that show’s seasons, though. 

We all know about the slap. If you don’t, then you’re living under a rock. When I first saw that clip, I thought it was a skit. I even laughed. It wasn’t until it was trending on Twitter that I realized, “that was real?” Will Smith seems like a nice guy. But “You never truly know someone until you live with them.” That’s what my mom always says. I also, like many, saw the videos that led up to that moment. Jada and Will had an interview about Jada’s “entanglement.” Will is hurting as she tries to rationalize why she slept with her son’s friend. My face hurt as I saw that clip. Plus, I saw other clips that people posted on Twitter. I was like, “Will looks unhappy, ouch.” 

So then Will made Chris Rock “ouch” at the Oscars a year ago by slapping him silly in front of millions, basically emasculating him. As the days passed, I thought, “Man, leave Will alone. He apologized already.” I even wrote a blog about it. Recently, I saw Chris Rock’s Netflix special stand-up comedy, “Selective Outrage.” Mind you; I forward a lot of the vulgarity. I’m not a big fan of over-the-top sexual comedy. That’s why my favorite comedian is Sebastion Maniscalco. He has some of it but doesn’t overdo it, and he’s not cussing and cursing every other word. So, not a big fan of Chris’ comedy. But I found a few things funny, mainly because he used balance in his comedy. No one in any political aisle was “safe” in his skit, and that was pretty admirable because I thought that was brave. 

By the time he got to “the slap,” his emotions heightened. It was visibly apparent that it hurt him, not just physically but emotionally and psychologically, what Will did to him. It made me understand that it’s not easy to say, “Hey, just move on. Let’s forgive Will.” Now, this is between Chris and Will and not the whole world. But fans are nosey, and they feel compelled to wear an invisible armor to go and defend their celebrities with a Tweet. 

 After analyzing everything, I thought these things:

  1. Will Smith lost his marbles and got it out on Chris Rock. 
  2. Chris Rock made fun of Jada, but it was a light-hearted joke. 
  3. Will Smith has the right to defend his wife. However, there were better approaches, like talking to Chris in private.
  4. Jada doesn’t have to like the joke just because you like it. 
  5. Slapping a man when he’s not expecting it is not brave.
  6. As much as some dislike Jada, she didn’t tell Will to slap Chris. Will chose that reaction. ACCOUNTABILITY, people.
  7. Chris Rock has the right to be angry and not forgive Will. The man was humiliated on national television in front of millions, hundreds of his peers, friends, and family. And he just stood there in shock and confusion.
  8. Just because you don’t like what Chris says, it doesn’t mean slapping him is okay. We’re supposed to be a civil society, not neanderthals. 
  9. Jada and Will have the right to feel upset about his comedy.
  10. But this is how Chris processed the humiliation, so he doesn’t have to care.
  11. Bonus one: Whether we like it or not, that is Will and Jada’s relationship.

My point is many things can be true at the same time. Human emotions are complex. What are your thoughts?

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