So what the hell was up with Will Smith at the Oscars? I realize I'm a bit late to the game here, but I've been contemplating on this for a couple of weeks now. First of all, let's go on the assumption that this slap ISN'T staged. That this slap was Will in full ego mode taking it upon himself to assault another man. Wether you believe the joke Chris Rock made at the Oscars was appropriate or not, is arbitrary. We are looking at Will's actions for this blog post.
There are a couple of things that stick out to me about this incident that we should discuss:
1) The use of violence
2) The yelling and cussing that came after the slap
3) Will's apology speech
So let's break down each of these categories, shall we? But before we do so, these are simply my opinions alright? Let's be clear on that. Ok... here goes:
The Use Of Violence
First and foremost I think it can be said that there is no need for violence. Ever. If the world got rid of its fear based programming, and operated from a love based programming, violence wouldn't exist. There would be no need for it. Period. Sadly, that is not the way the world works. (For now anyway). Now, Chris Rock made a joke about G.I. Jane 2 and about how Will's wife Jada will be starring in it. Jada has alopecia - a hair loss disorder. The joke did not appear to be malicious in intent. As a matter of fact, I remember when the original G.I. Jane came out with Demi Moore and how she had shaved her head for the role. I remember that being a tremendous act of strength and that it was bad ass that a woman would do that. I remember being totally inspired by her shaving her head at my young age. The joke could have been taken as an empowering compliment. As a matter of fact, Will laughed at the joke originally until he saw his wife roll her eyes. Jada chose to take it as a dig. This is a prime example of how she is insecure about her hair and how her ego got in the way, refusing to take the joke as a compliment. Her reaction proves that she has a certain narrative in her own life about her hair loss. Her narrative runs on insecurity and fear of judgement. It is clear she has her own issues to work through in regards to her diagnosis. As a matter of fact, I believe this was a missed opportunity for Jada. She could have owned the joke and used it her her advantage. She could have tamed her ego in that moment and instead of showing women to have a man fight for their insecurities, she could have shown them how to rise up - to empower women everywhere to face fear and own their beauty no matter what it looks like... but that isn't what we're discussing here.
We are discussing the moment that Will decided to take things into his own hands. To let his ego take over and in one moment alter his career, the lives of those in the audience and those watching, the academy and of course Chris Rock. He acted in a triggered state and decided to haul ass up on stage and deck the presenter because his wife didn't like a joke. It didn't occur to him that perhaps there were children watching at home, that maybe violence is a trigger for audience members or viewers suffering from their own trauma with violence. He was so blinded by his anger, that his ego convinced him in that moment that it was appropriate and worse yet, JUSTIFIED to assault another human being on live television. It was not the time, nor the place. Will was acting entirely in ego/fear mode and he can say he was defending his wife all he wants, but the reason behind his reaction did not justify the act itself. If Will had come from a true place of love for his wife and his fellow man, he would have waited for a commercial break, pulled Chris Rock aside and explained the situation about his wife's medical diagnosis, and perhaps ask him to issue an apology to her on air instead. This would have been a much better way to go about things. Don't you think?
2) Yelling and Cussing
So not only did Will assault Chris Rock, that wasn't enough. He needed to go back to his seat and yell profanities up to the stage like a petulant little child. The intensity of how he acted was reminiscent of an angry kid who didn't get their own way. This actually makes perfect sense however, considering he was so caught up in an ego state and a big part of what makes up the ego is our inner child wounds. The additional yelling and cussing was just so unnecessary (as was the whole debacle). It was like he just couldn't help himself, like he couldn't interrupt his triggered state. Will's inner child came out roaring in that moment and was having a real temper tantrum. These actions truly tell a story of what is going on beneath the surface of Mr. Smith's life.
3) The Acceptance Speech
Now here, in my opinion, is where Will's issues truly came to light. There was no apology here. Not really. He apologized to the academy, but then proceeded basically to try to justify his actions. He blamed it on becoming too much like his character he won the Oscar for.... which is interesting and rather sad. If Mr. Smith is having such a hard time distinguishing himself from his roles, it is perhaps time he took a much needed break and did some looking inwards. Our dear Will has a lot of work to do, and he let the world see it. He needs to find out who he truly is. The fact he claims he is losing himself in his roles, tells me he most likely lost sight of who he is a long time ago. I'd be curious to know what Will is hiding from in his own life behind the roles of his characters. There is a lot to be unpacked here.