Not to be part of the sheeple, but if everybody else is, I guess I, too, must weigh in on the Smith/Rock altercation at the Oscars.
Undue Oscar Obsession
I rarely watch the Oscars because I find it embarrassing to watch rich people give each other awards. But when I saw three comedic women were hosting and roasting, I decided to have it playing in the background while I worked through my house chores. When Chris Rock, who I find funny, came on as the next presenter, I stopped to watch. That is when I saw Will Smith barge on stage and slap the livin’ sh*t out of Chris. At first, like Chris, I thought it was a gag. But I quickly realized it wasn’t. I had a flood of emotions:
- That’s good TV
- That’s outrageous behavior
- Is Chris Rock hurt?
- What is wrong with Will Smith?
- What is everyone in the audience going to do?
- Gosh I hope Smith doesn’t win an award
Then, it came true: Smith won the coveted Best Actor award. I stared in disbelief as he cried, snotted, and pontificated about himself and his actions.
That night, I slept restlessly.
The next morning, I asked Grady to read me some of the online comments.
- A black singer, who I don’t remember, said she wished a man would fight for her
- Smith’s son disturbingly tweeted, “That’s how we do it.”
- Rosie O’Donnell called it “toxic masculinity”
- Comedian Joy, from The View, worried about more copycats barging on stage, if they don’t like a joke.
- Howard Stern thinks his inability to control himself is a sign of mental illness.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabaar says it perpetuates stereotypes of black men.
Rules of Law
Now, I am a big believer in forgiveness and whole-heartedly think Rock should forgive Smith. We all should. But I also know it is not just children who need rules and boundaries, but all of us. Not unlike our court system that is grappling with how to handle the insurgence on our nation’s capitol, the Academy is also grappling with the proper disciplinary action, knowing that their decision will set a precedent for the future. These are big decisions with rich and famous people involved, hence my restless sleep.
It wasn’t until I put on my businesswoman hat and asked myself, “What would I do if that happened at my business?” that I was able to calm my obsession.
If this were to happen, the customer or employee would be banned or fired from ever doing business with us again. Next, a written account of the event would be filed and, if necessary, given to authorities. And last, if the assailant was still in the possession of our product, just to be rid of them, they could keep it. But there would be no warranty or recognition of them having it.
My Academy Recommendation
Following that same protocol, Will Smith would not be invited back. He could keep his dang statue, as a bald reminder of how not to behave, but the Academy would strip him of all accolades, and strike his recognition from print. Of course, no hard feelings; to err is human. But, like a child, you can’t be rewarded for bad behavior.
Wow … Now I feel better.