Apparently Will Smith Can’t Take a Joke

It’s tough to know what’s fake and what’s spontaneous and purposeful these days when it comes to Hollywood, but when Will Smith decided to smack the hell out of Chris Rock following an apparently tasteless joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, the reactions of the people at the Oscars told a story that made it clear that it might not have been staged. In the days to come it’s fair to say that a lot of people are going to analyze and break down this moment and side with Rock or Smith and give their justifications, but for now let’s just say that it’s kind of obvious that Smith has a line that he feels others shouldn’t cross when it comes to comedy. What’s troubling about this is that for a long time now, Smith has had the type of reputation that paints him as a nice guy that doesn’t lose his cool that often and definitely doesn’t lose it like this in public. Some folks are no doubt going to state that every person has a breaking point and that perhaps Rock’s joke wasn’t in good taste, but debunking those ideas is kind of simple since like it or not, citing that love makes you do crazy things isn’t an excuse that gets a lot of support any longer. 

As much as some folks don’t want to admit this, the Oscars have been suffering for a while now since their ratings have gone down, people have stopped caring, and the fact is that fewer and fewer people want to keep watching the pampered, insanely rich actors of Hollywood pat each other on the back when their paychecks are worth more than the small golden statue they compete for ever could be. The Oscars are a practice in luxury and decadence that’s played up as a night to honor excellence when the truth is that the best accolades that any actor could ever receive come from the fans that love their work and continue to shell out the money that’s required to keep them acting. 

But what comes with the accumulation of fans is the fact that those same fans will be watching their every move and listening to everything they say. And in this case, it feels that anyone watching the Oscars will realize that even if Will Smith does have a sense of humor, he has a breaking point that will allow him to become violent. It’s funny, many others have heard jokes about their spouses, their friends, and those they care about at various award shows, and they’ve never become quite this forceful in their objections. Maybe Will was having a bad night? That’s doubtful, since he was up for a nomination for Best Actor, which he won, and yet his words to Rock, to leave his wife’s name out of his mouth, and the explanation that love will make a person do crazy things falls rather flat. It feels easy to think that Smith’s reputation might take a bit of a hit for this and that his publicist is already in damage control mode, but the fact that he didn’t apologize to Rock for lashing out after a joke, could leave some folks thinking that Will is a bit of a hypocrite. 

How many people have heard Will speak about discipline in a few different ways, from their health to their mental state? Is Will getting old and a little too emotional to joke with? Is everything okay at home? Or, for some reason, did his sense of humor take a night off leave him raw enough that he couldn’t restrain himself? Or was it just staged, faked, and doled out to viewers to see how people would react? Either way, Smith doesn’t come out looking too good after this since if it was faked then it was in poor taste since it shocked the hell out of everyone, and a jaunty ‘ha ha, gotcha’ might not be well-received by a lot of people. If he did mean it, and still refuses to apologize to Chris, then it’s going to be something for people to talk about for days to come. Right now it’s kind of easy to look at Smith and realize that he’s not as cool of a customer as he’s made himself out to be over the years. 

Chris Rock is a comedian, that’s been known for years, and some of the material he’s come up with, be it his own or a writer’s, has been a mix of humor that many can accept and some might think is in poor taste. But it’s comedy, words, jokes, and none of it is meant to be an attack or to be taken seriously. If this act was staged, then it was an idea made in extremely poor taste. If it was real, well, then Will Smith might not be seen as the cool and composed individual he’s always been. 

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