I don’t know what the back story between Chris Rock and Will Smith is, if any. Rock was presenting an Oscar and made a crack about “G.I. Jane 2” which has something to do with Jada Pickett Smith having a bald head. Pickett Smith does suffer from alopecia, which causes hair loss.

She has apparently spoken out about it in the past.

In any event, Will Smith didn’t find the crack amusing. Take a look.

Here’s what the Japanese saw. The slap is a little better, or worse, depending on your POV.

Well, if people were starting to get bored, that sure woke them up.

And then twenty minutes later Will Smith picked up the Oscar for Best Actor. This will all be great in a biographical film, I’ll say that much.

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  1. You don’t tug on superman’s cape
    You don’t spit into the wind
    You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger
    And you don’t mess around with Jada Pickett Smith or Will will smack the shit out of you.

    I have a friend who has this ailment as a result of radiation treatment for a brain tumor and other ailments. She puts on a brave face but someone making fun of her ailment as an attempt at a joke would be hurtful…..as well as hearing about this whole fiasco will probably be to her.

    This is just as bad as Trump-O the Assclown mocking the disabled reporter. I don’t blame Will Smith for knocking the spit out of his mouth. Too bad that reporter wasn’t there to make that point to Trump.

  2. I just looked at the reactions on Twitter. Everybody agrees that Rock made a tasteless joke but Smith is getting a lot of heat for reacting violently.

    What a world we live in.

    I think Chris Rock could have taken the sting out of the moment if he had immediately apologized and then probably Will Smith would have chilled and they could have made up right then. It could have been a beautiful moment. But Rock had to keep playing it. That stunned me.

    • Rock has been struggling for relevance for two decades now. As we have seen with far too many others, that kind of position makes you take these kind of foolish risks.

  3. When rich, overpaid, worshipped celebrities get too full of themselves shit happens. Sure it was a tasteless joke. Comedians do them all the time. How many average people could keep a job if we slapped the shit out of our boss? No. They are ultra wealthy so the rules don’t apply. If the real Ali popped Chris rock, instead of the pretend Ali, he’d be headed to the ED. Will can justify his violence, but I won’t look at him as some kind of hero. He’s just another idiot who lost his temper & acted like a badass on international TV. What’s next? Road rage on the LA freeway? Grow up Will & stop living in a fantasy world. Oh. That’s right. Your whole gig is a fantasy world where you pretend to be a badass. There were a hundred ways he could have dealt with this off camera.

    • I agree. He shouldn’t have been so reactive. That’s why I wonder if there isn’t some back story between them that would explain the severity of the reaction. Yes, it was a tasteless joke but if it was handled privately and then Rock put out a double truck ad in Variety in the morning saying how he thought it over and he wanted to apologize to Jada Pickett Smith, it would have been a completely different scene.

      Will Smith has zero filters if he flies into a rage over something like that — and again, it was a hurtful, tasteless joke. But it could have been handled differently.

    • Bingo. This is the world we live in. People who essentially do nothing of import (i.e. T.V./movie actors, athletes, etc.) make obscene amounts of money for doing nothing and when they break the law they receive no punishment. Had you or I slapped damn near anyone we’d have the cuffs slapped on our wrists and popped into a po-po car on our way to the pokey. Not these P.O.S. dilettantes.

      • Frankly, Spike, I find that argument about three steps removed from QAnon lizard people craziness (which those loons stole from V the TV series because they’re not aware enough–or possibly literate enough–to have even heard of Robert E Howard’s “The Shadow Kingdom”). “They’re not like us!”

        Give me a goddamn break…they’re human beings too, arguably even more trapped in that system you loathe so much. We arguably have more options than them on what we can do simply because no one gives a shit about us. That’s a high pressure cooker however you slice it…so when people snap, it’s hardly a surprise. Personally, I’d call this one “instant therapy”, to use Andrew Vachss’ term.

  4. Actually, if y’all look at the Deadline Hollywood clip, at about the 8 or 9-second mark, you’ll notice that Jada seems a little peeved.

    And it looks like there may be some bad blood between Jada and Chris.

    From the Daily Beast:

    “The last time Rock hosted the awards ceremony was in 2016, also known as the year of #OscarsSoWhite. Pinkett Smith had previously announced in a video that she would be boycotting the Oscars, after her husband was snubbed for his performance in the film Concussion. Rock took the opportunity to poke fun at Pinkett Smith, snarkily asking, “Isn’t she on a TV show?”
    “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties,” the host continued. “I wasn’t invited.” The Hollywood—mostly white—elites in the audience burst into laughter.”

    • I say again…maybe Rock should be grateful it was Will and NOT Jada who answered the insult. Grievous bodily harm would have been a real possibility with her.

  5. I…have absolutely no problem with Smith’s reaction, none. Personally, I think he might have done that on his wife’s behalf just to keep the latter from beating the shit out of Rock (not joking, BTW…I suspect Jada Pinkett Smith could do it on a lightweight like Rock without breaking a sweat).

    As the saying goes, eff with the bull, get the horns. And paybacks are hell.

  6. Wow. I had seen where the Oscars were happening this weekend and didn’t really care. Like March Madness (haven’t seen a single game or even tuned in this year) I lost interest some years ago. However for many I get that having a full-blown ceremony again was a big deal. And anytime you have live television things can get interesting & not always in a good way. When you toss in an accomplished comedian who has tackled controversial stuff head-on then all bets are off.

    Was the joke tasteless? I suppose so given what I’ve just learned about Jada Pinckett-Smith and her hair but other than she’s done a good job in some roles I never have known much about her. I do also recall she and Will have a somewhat less than traditional marriage but it seems to have worked for them so it’s not for me to be all judgy about them.

    Maybe there is actually some serious behind the scenes history between Rock and the Smiths. The joke years ago (again, I wasn’t watching) seems funny and if it made the audience uncomfortable that night then good. However, if Ms. Smith has a medical condition that causes her to have the hairstyle she had last night I can see why her reaction to Rock’s joke last night was visible displeasure.

    Will Smith’s reaction however was appalling. That didn’t look so much like a slap but a punch and it sounded like one too. Given the size difference between the two men it was that much worse. Worse still, while he’s not a professional boxer Smith did train for a role as the greatest fighter in history and being his size can deliver a more powerful blow than the average person. Before I got old and fat, back when I was as fit (and large physically) as Smith I knew damn well how much I could hurt someone – especially someone who was smaller and not prepared to take an actual punch and Rock clearly didn’t believe Smith was going to actually smack him up until the moment Smith threw that punch. I’m surprised Rock didn’t get knocked on his butt, but I’ll guarantee you he is in a world of hurt this morning.

    Smith was even worse when not once but twice he shouted his comment at Rock after sitting back down. He got an Oscar of his own a few minutes later and while I don’t like to say never right now I’m feeling like he should never even be nominated again much less receive an award. Hell, if he can react that violently in public if I were in the movie business I wouldn’t want to have in on any set. I’ve admired some of his performances but now?

    Again, being a person of my height and (former) build and strength I was always mindful of how easily I could hurt someone and did my best to ensure I didn’t appear threatening or to intimidate others much less lash out physically unless it was to protect myself or someone else from physical violence. Something like a tasteless joke in public about a loved one would get a “knock that shit off” comment, perhaps with a “or we will be having a private chat later” retort from me. I was taught it’s better to walk away whenever possible than to fight.

    And if I, with my size had walked up to someone much smaller than me and delivered a blow like that I can only imagine the look I’d have gotten from my mom or even my dad later. The shame the mortified look on their faces would have crushed my heart.

    If Rock went over the line with his joke (and I’d say given what I now know he did) despite his relatively small physical stature in relation to Smith HE was the bigger person last night. I’ve taken my share of hits and punches and I can be sure Rock was smiling through some serious pain as he completed his short gig. But he tried to get past the moment without making it worse than it had become and for that deserves some praise but Smith deserves the opposite. I have one final thought. I wonder if Smith would have felt so brave/badass if instead of a small, unathletic guy like Chris Rock it had been say fellow actor (who had played in comedies) Terry Crews, a man almost as tall as Smith and every bit as fit who was a legitimate pro athlete (a successful NFL career) who made that bad joke. I rather doubt it. Having trained as a boxer for a movie role and taking part in movie magic fight scenes is a far cry from the kind of bone crushing hits Crews gave and took week after week all those years as a college and pro football player. Crews would have been quite capable of leaving Smith bleeding on the floor and off to the hospital in an ambulance as his name was being annnounced as an Oscar winner. In the end it comes down to rich and famous people get away with shit the rest of us would wind up in jail and maybe losing our jobs (bad publicity for our employer) for doing in public.

    • Personally, I think Illia Ponomarenko, Ukranian reporter for the Kyiv Independent who’s been on the ground since the beginning of his country’s invasion, had the right take: “Wow, sombody is still interested in Oscars. And Will Smith’s career.” In a month’s time, this will be rightly forgotten and it didn’t mean a hell of a lot in the first place.

      • You make a good point about context & perspective. Smith apologized. Not to Rock for the bad joke (which I can understand) or but for upstaging the Oscars although the actor who was about to get their own Oscar and had their moment overshadowed by the Rock & Smith spectacle deserved a special mention. But he did apologize for upstaging the show. Rock for his part declined to press charges and hopefully maintains the wisdom to continue that stance and generally STFU about the matter. Privately he might reach out and try to initiate burying the hatchet by apologizing for the bad joke and asking JADA what if anything he might do to atone beyond apologizing. But there are better and more important things to pay attention to than a movie awards show.

    • Some here think that impulsive overreaction was justified. I wonder if they would have made the same argument if that were a woman comedian & he unexpectedly slapped the shit out of HER? THINK THAT’S OK? WHY NOT?

      • I leave “justification” to moralists like yourself, along with the what-aboutisms that go with it. All I’m saying is I GET IT. This isn’t a trigonometry equation to be solved but rather human beings acting in ways that make total sense in the context. Pearl-clutching over it is stupid as hell to me. Rock should count himself lucky that he got off so light.

        • Way to avoid a direct answer. I think we know the double standard. Hey I’m not saying I know all the backstory, but if a large powerful BLACK man walked up on stage during the Oscars & slapped a white lady comedian, leaving a hand print, then went back to his seat shouting profanity, he wouldn’t be leaving with an Oscar. He’d be leaving in zipties. Talk about ‘clutching’. Clutching rationalizations for violence & gender bias I understand. Hey, I’m not saying Chris doesn’t deserve a backlash for insensitivity, etc. I’m less sure he deserved Will showing his low class on international TV. He will forever be diminished for acting macho & he made himself the center of attention instead of his wife, who was the real victim.

  7. The Oscars have been known for having comedian hosts who rag on the stars. I think Jada looked hurt, but I don’t think the joke was any worse than others I have heard. Part of chosing that public life is being able to accept a little shit. Maybe Rock doesn’t know about her alopecia and thought she was shaving her head for no reason but style. She didn’t storm up there and smack Rock. I heard on the Today show that Will Smith always felt guilt because he felt he didn’t defend his mother when she was abused (he was a child). And he was “crying old tears” (Hoda called it that). In other words trying not to make the same mistake twice. Or he could just be an asshole. Smith could have just addressed it with reporters afterward. Just didn’t look great and I’m sure changed a lot of peoples’ opinions about him.

  8. Okay. I just learned something that shows how Rock DESERVED getting more than just slapped–surprisingly, I discovered this on Cracked.com (generally, a site intended for comedy/humor material).

    It seems that Rock’s joke failed on a couple of levels but mainly all because of something that happened over a decade ago. See, back in 2009, Chris made a documentary film (and, remember, his purpose at this year’s ceremony was to present the award for Best Documentary!) called “Good Hair.” The purpose of the documentary? To demonstrate “how American culture has historically stigmatized Black women’s hair” (something that still hasn’t really improved over the past decade–consider the number of cases where Black girls have been sent home from school for having hair styles that didn’t meet “school standards” and the number of Black women who’ve similarly faced discrimination for wearing “ethnic” styles in the work place).

    And what makes Rock’s joke even MORE despicable is that the documentary even included designer Sheila Bridges who also suffers from alopecia. And Rock was even asked about her inclusion in the documentary. His response? “​​We put her in the movie to show you can be beautiful even without hair, and your beauty really does come from within.”
    It’s funny how people are supposed to learn from their mistakes and do better after the mistake. Rock seems to have done just the opposite by making an egregious “mistake” more than a decade after he’d done good.

    Does that really excuse Smith’s reaction? Not entirely but Rock also broke one of the first “rules” of comedy: Don’t punch down. You DON’T make fun of people’s disabilities or illnesses. A comedian who’s suffering a debilitating condition or illness gets to poke fun at himself or others but a generally able-bodied comedian does not. (If Rock had prefaced the whole “GI Jane 2” bit with an acknowledgement of Jada’s discussion of her alopecia and been relatively serious about the matter–something like, “Jada was very brave acknowledging her battle with alopecia and I can’t wait to see GI Jane 2, girl,” he could’ve avoided becoming the literal punchline of his joke.)

    • Talking about ‘deserved’ on old grievances played out by sucker punching someone on international TV seems a little far fetched. Will comes across as a punk. If his grievances were that old then deal with it like a man. They know each other. Call him up & deal with it in private either with words & a handshake or throw down without an audience & assaulting someone who doesn’t see it coming, & being the fucking host of the Oscars, doesn’t have room to retaliate. It’s a punk move mostly done by muggers, car jackers, & home invaders. It’s also a reflection of male macho bullshit. I have to defend the little woman who can’t stand up for herself. Horseshit. I’m surprised so many are in favor of a violent response to essentially a poor joke. Guess putin is fine since he perceives slights everywhere & his violence is justified cuz He THINKS SO. Trump’s tear gas & rubber bullets are fine cuz they were interfering with his photo op.This culture is off the chain with poor little folksies feelings getting ruffled everywhere. Shoot the bastards. That’ll fix em. Couldn’t be poor Willie really believes he’s Ali cuz he played him in a movie? Every REAL badass I know would have more self control & IF they wanted a pound of flesh, they would avoid a spectacle so they could do their work in private. Being an actor, Will acted like a badass for the audience he knew was watching, & knowing no physical retaliation would be coming. Punk move.


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