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By now, just about everyone has heard about the “slap that was felt around the world.” During the 94th Academy Awards, nicknamed “The Oscars,” hosted on Sunday, March 27, Will Smith sent shock waves everywhere as he approached comedian Chris Rock and slapped him!

Rock had just delivered a tasteless joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s, bald head. Smith then calmly walked back to his seat. He shouted to Chris “Keep my wife’s name out of your “fxxxing” mouth!” To his credit, Chris Rock did not retaliate, but said “Will Smith just slapped the “sh!t out of me!” He also did not press charges against Smith.

Make no mistake; Will Smith was absolutely wrong for what he did! However, both individuals bore some culpability. Rock should not have improvised a joke that was in bad taste about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head. He may, or may not have known that she was suffering from alopecia and had publicly addressed the issue repeatedly in recent months.

This was the second time during an Oscars event that Chris Rock singled Jada out for laughter; he did it during the Oscars held in 2016.

The “slap” did more than just commit violence against Chris Rock; it basically tarnished the entire awards event! After clamoring for inclusion by the Black community, this was the first time that the Oscars was produced by an African American, Will Packer (along with Shayla Cowan).

Also, Smith’s actions overshadowed the fact that this was the first time the event was hosted by three females: Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall; and minimized the recognition that Qwestlove won an Oscar for the film Summer of Soul, among other notable highlights.

Will Smith’s slap was literally so psychologically loud that it drowned out almost everything else about the Oscars.

This event has split the Black community into two camps: those who are pro Will Smith and those who are pro Chris Rock. The reasons for this are what’s interesting.

Some people are fed up with being targeted by tasteless jokes leveled at the audience by insensitive comedians, and Chris Rock’s faux pas could arguably fit into that category. On the other hand, Will Smith, ironically, is being seen as both being dominated by his “toxic” wife AND by being a bully who used violence against Rock and, in so doing, destroyed the Oscars.

Keen observers might see that something else is happening: that the response is really a backlash against Jada Pinkett Smith and her family.

As host of Red Table Talk, a number of intimate details about the Smith family have been revealed, and because of this, some people have come to love to hate the family. There was even a petition to have the show canceled.

Clues to this notion can be seen in how many people are accusing Jada of instigating the slap because Will has been traumatized by the revelation on Red Table Talk that she had had an “entanglement” with August Alsina, an American singer.

It does not matter that Will was allegedly the first one to cheat; that Will and Jada were separated when it happened, or that Alsina said that Will knew about his intent and allegedly gave his blessings.

People are saying Jada should have stopped Will from doing what he did, but from the videos of the event, it would not be possible to guess that “nice guy” Will was walking to the stage for the purpose of slapping Rock. Nothing like this has ever happened before, so it is very probable that Jada was as surprised by his behavior as was everyone else. But Jada has become the culprit and many people are blaming her for the whole debacle!

Some people think that Jada is destroying Will Smith. Conversely, this translates into the notion that Will, who continually demonstrates love for Jada and his family, is seen as a punk, as a weak male. So, this is also an attack on Will’s masculinity, even though socking someone for insulting your wife should generate the opposite sentiment!

Ultimately, Will’s behavior generated a backlash that was waiting to happen against the Smith family. Will’s slap provided an opportunity for the public to slap the Smith family for revealing their dirty laundry, and, in so doing, possibly embarrassing the Black community. Whatever the case, the fallout from this unfortunate event is not yet over and Will Smith’s career may have been irreparably damaged while Chris Rock’s stature might be enhanced. A Luta Continua.

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