At the time everyone was, like, Jeremy was seriously provoked, yada yada, but if all of us lashed out when things got hard, the world would be a pretty violent place, wouldn’t it?The Love of my Life” Rosie Walsh

I wasn’t going to write about the Will Smith thing. I am a fan of the movies, but not of award shows, so I skip the pomp and circumstance and look to the internet to get the list of winners. So I didn’t see the slap heard round the world till the next day, and only when my Husband and Daughter told me about it. I didn’t actually see a clip till days later.

But then I was reading a book the other day, and I read the above quoted passage…and I decided it was a sign that I had to say something about the incident.

Do I like jokes that mock people? No, but I have come to terms with most comedians mocking people. That’s what they do. It’s also why I don’t attend a plethora of comedy shows. Ok- I don’t attend most comedy shows because the language is just rank, and while I do have a potty mouth sometimes, cursing in itself doesn’t make things funny- it just makes them unimaginative.

Was the joke funny, mean spirited, or just average? Personally, I didn’t think it was that bad, but I wasn’t the butt of the joke. I also thought it was an average joke at best.

Did Will Smith overreact? Ummm…yeah….

Do I think Will Smith should have utilized my five second rule? Yes. That rule was made for a situation such as this.

What annoys me the most? That Will Smith said that love will make you do crazy things. I get a little worried when people use love as an OK reason to be violent, or anything that might harm someone. This was the most troubling part of the incident for me.

Do I think Will Smith should be cancelled? NO

Do I think Will Smith should be forgiven by the general populace? YES

Do I think that Will Smith is a man that made a mistake? Yes. But I don’t think that means he has to give everything up. He made a mistake in a very large forum- I think he knows he did not act well in this situation.

But-

Do not think that violence is the way to handle things.

We can’t use violence as the first thing we do when faced with a challenging situation.

Should Will Smith voluntarily go to counseling for anger management? YES

Should we all rethink our attitude towards violence and seek out appropriate treatment if violence is our go to? YES

Should we cut down making film and tv and music and art that uses violence as its base? While I don’t like to tell creators what to create, I do worry about the amount of violence that seems to make up art. The real question is, why are people drawn to things that revolve around violence? Think back to whatever art you peruse in your leisure- do you tend to go towards things that are violent?

If we want to listen, read, watch, look at violent imagery more often than not, what does that say about us?

What place does violence hold in our society?

Let’s not focus on the actions of one man in one specific minute- let’s focus on the actions of all of us all the time.

71 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: The thing I wasn’t going to write about

  1. Good post. I am a little aggressive at times but violence is something else and undignified behaviour is something else. The award shows have become jeering fora which, since stars resort to, may be construed as fashionable. It is not.

    Art should not promote violence. Artists should set examples as the general mass look up to them.

    Love is a lame excuse. I think he was tickling mass sentiment.

    Personally I am very fond of suspense thrillers and murder mysteries. But not gore.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think we all have aggressive moments. We are human…sometimes we snap…but it shouldn’t be our go to…the whole thing about doing it for love rankled me more

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I agree with Jane above – well said. I will add: who needs art as a go-to for ‘violence’ (as in violent action films)? If people are drawn to that sort of thing, then there’s plenty of the real deal out there being filmed for public consumption, though certainly not for public ‘entertainment’ (current case in point the ruthless slaughter of everyday people in the Ukraine, etc) Just my Friday scattered thought for the day!
    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I liked that you did not comment on the topic immediately and the various questions and answers in your post. I also did not watch the Oscars, I don’t see the attraction but I tape them for my wife. When I saw the slap and nothing happened I was shocked not at the slap but at the crowds response. I understand why Rock kept the show going forward but the crowd reaction was disappointing. Celebrity privilege includes slapping comedians? I once went to a comedy show and the language was so disgusting I never went to one again. I left wondering about how people laugh at that humour. Bullying comedians like Joan Rivers and Don Rickles are not my cup of tea.
    When it comes to entertainment my choices are quirky and romantic but a non violent mystery is fine also. Swearing is a quick turn off for me and in my opinion an indicator of poor writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My thoughts: it was inappropriate and unnecessary as a reaction even though what Rock said was also inappropriate and hurtful. Now we have to deal socially with the reasons, excuses, judgement, fallout… I have a lot of questions and suspicions surrounding this, but have no energy to put anymore thought into it. While it should be considered another in the long line of “wake up” calls I think we know nothing will change.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think this was a very well thought out post. It got me thinking. I am not ok that he slapped Chris Rock. Did Chris have it coming- absolutely but his reaction should have stopped with shouting at the man to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth. You know what bothers me more. Jada laughed when it happened. I understand she is suffering from a disease, it was a poor joke that should never have been made, but violence is a line a society must not cross and Will should be charged with assault. I know that makes me unsympathetic, or that I’m against Jada, or I’m wrong but I don’t care. This is the only opinion I have. If someone made fun of my dad dying of cancer- yes I would WANT to beat them to the ground but as a rational being, I also know the cops would charge me the moment it happened. A celebrity should know this difference too.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I had many of the same reactions and thoughts when it popped up on the Internet that evening, but something didn’t seem quite right. I couldn’t put my finger on it until the next day. Chris Rock did not instinctively put his hand up to his face. Hmm. The three people involved are all actors. Now I’m going to get into the realm of what many would call conspiracy theory, but much to my dismay in these troubled times what was once conspiracy theory has often proved itself true. Bottom line: I think Big Pharma is getting ready to roll out a medicine for alopecia. About a year before Fosamax and its buddies were put on the market, osteopenia was introduced into our national consciousness. So we were encouraged to take drugs sooner. Acceptable blood pressure and cholesterol levels have changed over time so that what was good is now a danger. More medicine needed. Who benefits from all of this? Conspiracy theory? Maybe? Maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. For several days I was really angry at Will Smith. Disappointed at his actions and lack of constraint and upset because I have always liked him. And the fact that for several decades he and his wife have been in the spotlight they should have developed a thicker skin. They understand comedy and know how to conduct themselves at award shows. This was about more than a joke. Honestly, I was a bit peeved at his wife too. Was the joke offensive? Perhaps. I did not find it offensive and I truly believe it was extemporaneous rather than planned. ( I found out later from a friend who worked behind the scenes on the show that they pre read all the jokes and approved them. And that that one joke was improvised). But be that as it may, there was no excuse for his violent actions. It wasn’t until Jada expressed displeasure that he went from laughing to acting like a thug. I watched it live but I also watched several angles of various videos proving he was enjoying himself and found the joke funny until he saw Jana’s displeasure. Was it the joke or Jada that had him snap? In fact a video just surfaced of Will Smith making nasty jokes about a bald person a few years back. A joke way worse than Chris Rock’s. joke. So it’s ok for him to joke about bald people but Rock can’t? The Smiths understand jokes and being celebrities they should have expected to be the brunt of some of them at an award show. It’s always done. Talk about a self centered power couple.

    Also, as woman who was bald for more than a year Due to chemo, I totally understand Jada’s sensitivity towards hair loss.and I feel her pain. However, she looked beautiful and made a brave choice to display her bald head at the Oscar’s. Many women wear wigs or hair pieces to the Oscar’s. She chose not to and I applaud her for that. But here’s the thing. Alopecia is NOT life threatening. It’s not a fun disease, but she isn’t going to die from it. And GI Jane was a movie that empowered women with a strong female protagonists so if anything being compared to that character should actually have been a compliment. But both the smiths could have addressed their anger later and privately spoken to Chris rock. Apparently he did not know she had Alopecia. I didn’t know. I thought she was making a political statement. She was wearing an army green military type of garment and had what looked like a shaved head. I assumed it was her choice to look like that.

    The women at the infusion center I go to ALL make bald jokes about their hairless situation. THEY have a sense of humor and their liVES ARE at stake. Jada looked gorgeous, is a strong independent woman whose life is not in danger nor was it in danger from an insensitive joke.. plus, She did NOT need saving.

    I asked my adult sons their opinion after it happened. . My oldest son told me his interpretation was that Smith felt emasculated by all the stuff his wife says on her podcast (about cheating on him) so he went all crazy Macho after his wife egged him on. My younger son who is in the motion picture industry said ALL the people working on his current show were really angry at Will. Because he lessened the directors, actors, and other awards that were earned and won. So people in the industry, who voted for those awards were NOT happy about his actions . The Smiths ruined the Oscar’s for others in the industry and set a bad example for young people . Both my sons felt he should keep his award however there was no excuse for the violence. I agree. They were upset by it. I personally felt he should have been escorted out and assault charges filed. I know Smith resigned from the academy, but he should have been suspended from it anyway for his actions. Sorry, too many impressionable young people out there will think that behavior is ok. But his award.? Yes, he should keep it. That he earned. However, His behavior did not earn him the right to injure another.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Right on, Leslie. Thanks for taking the time for writing such a comment for us followers of LA to read. Now for myself, the matter is more than closed – don’t want to waste any more effort on that ‘self-centered power couple’ In the olden days (my folks’) they woulda tossed it as ungracious, wrong BUT a ‘publicity stunt’ and let it fly past their radar as a blip not worth focusing on! Just sayin’…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The thoughts you share from various viewpoints are interesting, but I have to ask If “Hollywood” et al are concerned about what “impressionable young people out there will think” about certain behaviors being being ok. I certainly see the opposite in both production and lifestyle from this very influential group. Very few seem concerned about ethics and morals, but they do have an agenda.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t like any kind of violence and never watch violent movies or read violent books. I didn’t like Bambi because the hunters shot Bambi’s mother. (I’m still upset about that). There were certainly other ways of handling that particular situation. I thought Will Smith was better than that.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It, The Slap, was regrettable but not remarkable, and it’s easy to suggest that given the emotional, physical, and cultural stress produced by the fevers of recent events, more people are certain to overheat.

    It’s a wonder, given the friction of today’s rapid societal change, punishing political uncertainty, and a two year global lockdown, that civilization’s “center” is holding at all.

    And given the events in Europe today, a total collapse could still evolve.

    I think, in the main, violence is abhorrent, and Mr. Smith was wrong, he was not the good actor. But let’s be real…we’re watching a much bigger picture.

    Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Perhaps this is a totally different angle, but while everyone was talking about the slap/ joke, what was going on in the world that we were turning a blind eye to while everyone was so concerned about Jada, Chris and Will and if it were real/faked and who was right and who was wrong?

    People have been talking about it for days and personally, I find it to be over the top that so much time/energy has been spent debating/arguing over it. I think the ‘joke’ was in poor taste and Will’s behavior was inappropriate. “Love makes us do crazy things” is a poor excuse in my opinion. Forgive me, but if it weren’t the awards, and two same race men, etc., there would be a whole different spin on it.

    Good blog post LA…nice job! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I do not condone violence at all. Do I respect Will for standing up for his wife? Yes! But at the same time I think it could have been handled differently. Chris Rock crossed a line but no one seems to care about his actions. Words hurt too. Being someone who has been made fun of for my disability all my life I don’t think it’s ok for someone to make jokes about someone who has health issues or a disability etc. no matter how severe the joke might have been. Both of them were in the wrong but because Will used violence he’s the only one getting backlash and I don’t think that’s right. Obviously his actions were more severe but everyone is acting like what Chris did is ok and it’s not. Maybe if “normal” people had to deal with the kinds of things we have to deal with they would understand why Chris’s actions are just as unacceptable as Will’s were.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel for you and what you have endured. However, comedians make jokes, and while I don’t like people making fun of others, it’s what comedians do. The last comedy show I went to mocked about eight things about me…not to my face, but in general mocked people like me. But if everyone who was made fun of in a joke attacked the comedian…it would be an even crappier world. I don’t like physical violence…I’ve been called some nasty names but when I thought I was going to be attacked on the subway it was a whole different fear

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just because they are comedians doesn’t give them the right to make fun of anything about people and other people shouldn’t be ok with them doing it. I’m not saying violence is the answer like I said I do not condone violence at all but I think people should 100% be called out when they have done something wrong and they shouldn’t be able to get away with it just because the majority of the world has normalized it. I completely agree that violence brings on a whole different fear I’m not saying it doesn’t. Essentially it’s a form of bullying and we all know what that can lead too especially when the people who are being picked on are kids.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Will smith didn’t give anyone a chance to condemn Chris rock. If jada said something after, it would have had more effect. We walk a very slippery slope if we says it’s ok to react violently to something.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I never said it was ok to act violently. I don’t condone violence at all. I even said I believe it could have been handled differently. He acted out in the heat of the moment and yes he should be punished for what he did but I also think Chris should be held responsible for his “part”. I’ve seen absolutely nothing said about what Chris done and how it was inappropriate. No I don’t think that what he did is to the level of what Will did but he should still be called out.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Assault beats insensitivity. After Rick was assaulted in front of witnesses and didn’t press charges, no one is going to say anything against him

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I understand that Chris Rock was definitely the bigger man but I still don’t think it’s right. Maybe it’s just because I have personal experience with being the bit of someone’s joke and someone has to stand up to the bully’s otherwise no one will learn and everything will stay the same.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. To add to the discussion about comedians: Around the same time this event occurred, I happened to watch a clip of Rodney Dangerfield on the Johnny Carson Show. Thinking back on his routine, I realized why it was so much funnier and certainly more acceptable than Chris Rock’s “jokes.” Dangerfield only made fun of himself.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I quit watching the Oscars when Billy Crystal quit hosting the Oscars. Also, when I quit recognizing most of the nominated films.

    I think given his 10-year suspension, Will Smith is more than paying the price for a stupid and regrettable mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well, sometimes overthinking things is not good also but use your sixth sense, sometimes you just know when you have been screwed over but will violence help. Probably not but the person calmly observing what is going on and not reacting is the one you watch. Enjoy your weekend!! Yay! Weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. An unfortunate incident and yes that five minutes rule could have helped. But the incident also goes to show us that people at the end of the day are emotional beings and we all just need to be kind to each other. We just don’t know what other persons are going through mentally.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t think comedy that is cruel is funny at all. One comedian I respect who I saw in Vegas is Rita Rudner. Good comedians poke fun at their own follies, or human foibles in general. Too bad Billy Crystal isn’t the awards presenter anymore. I don’t watch those kinds of shows anyway.

    Violence as entertainment is too prevalent and overrated. I prefer a good rom-com. But a little violence doesn’t always turn me off, as long as it isn’t real or real gory. Real violence is another story.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you for this post and your refreshing last paragraph!! You would think that a celebrity has never done anything wrong before with the way people have acted. All the talk has driven me crazy, but you nailed it with this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Well, this reminds me of bullies that children have to deal with. They keep making fun, and children are told to walk away. I don’t mean to say that Will Smith was justified in slapping Chris Rock. BUT I find it interesting that NO ONE has scolded Chris Rock for making fun of someone who has an illness. If she had Breast Cancer, and the joke had been made, for SURE all the Breast Cancer Survivors would be up in arms. How Horrible to make fun of a breast cancer survivor – that’s just NOT DONE! But because not much is known about her hair loss disease and she is beautiful — it’s OK for him to make fun?? Will Smith apologized, he was wrong, but 10 years away from the Oscars. I think that was harsh. 5 years, fine. And AGAIN like in school for kids, sometimes BULLIES / COMEDIANS shouldn’t get away with making fun of someone. Chris Rock didn’t EVEN APOLOGIZE for his comment and to say, OK, this time I went too far! If he felt it was OK, he would have pressed charges. Anyhow — Will Smith shouldn’t have done what he did. I’m sad for him, I’m sure he wishes he could reverse things. Chris Rock should not get off scott free.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Misty said the same thing. The problem is smith came out punching. If he’d waited till Jada, who doesn’t need a man to stand up for her, said something after the show, people would have said something to Rock which would have had power. But when you react within seconds with violence, you lose the opportunity and now rock is seen as the bigger person

      Liked by 1 person

  18. The quote ‘love makes you do crazy things’ makes me feel uneasy when linked with violence too, my first husband was handy with his fists and his excuse was always it’s because I love you too much. I didn’t find the joke that bad either, in fact it could have just as easily been taken for a compliment

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m glad I was focused on something else when this occurred. There were so many viewpoints condoning slapping, and I just didn’t understand the logic. I think we all have some healing to do, not just Will.

    You’ve made some good points.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s