Across the world this week on television we witnessed an act of violence in what should have been a pure ‘entertainment’ tv show.
There was no excuse for Chris Rock to use the autoimmune condition of Jada Pinkett Smith as the core of a joke on the 2022 Academy Award Ceremony. There is never any excuse for anyone using the ill health of another for a joke. There was no excuse for Will Smith to then get up from his seat, stroll casually across the stage floor and hit Chris Rock across the face/head. That was an act of violence that is and should be utterly condemned by all.
I am a very vocal advocate against violence, particularly violence and abuse of any form against women. I have long been a huge Will Smith fan. Will Smiths statement that he did it because he was defending his wife is no excuse. What we witnessed, I believe, sent a message to all of the people – men and women – with whom we all as a society are working hard to educate against violence – that it’s ‘ok if you are defending a loved one – or ok if you don’t like what was said’. No…it’s not ok.
Any form of abuse – physical, mental, emotional, financial – these are ALL forms of abuse… is not ok. Accountability for what took place should be called for. How we can all be accountable is by using this action as a fuel for us to support the increase of education and action. Education in our schools and communities and action to educate and reform laws in our country to support and increase protection of those who need it the most. We are currently failing in this area.
No Will Smith…it was not ok. As a Role Model to many, your actions failed you.