In case you're one of the few people in the world who isn't aware of what happened at the 2022 Oscars show last night, here's a recap in a New York Times story.
Will Smith apologized to the comedian Chris Rock on Monday evening for slapping him during Sunday night’s Oscars telecast after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which administers the awards, denounced his actions and opened an inquiry into the incident.
...The incident unfolded Sunday night after Mr. Rock made a joke about the buzzed hair of Mr. Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, a condition that leads to hair loss. Mr. Smith responded by walking onto the stage of the Dolby Theater and slapping Mr. Rock, leaving stunned viewers wondering at first if the blow might have been scripted until Mr. Smith returned to his seat and warned him to stop talking about his wife, using expletives.
Here's a You Tube video that explains the incident, complete with some annoying ads that can be skipped after a few seconds.
I watched every minute of the Oscars, mostly because I wanted to see how many times Ukraine was mentioned by a presenter or Oscar winner. As I said in a post on my HinesSight blog, Ukraine got a disturbingly small amount of attention from the Hollywood elite.
The Will Smith slap made a lot more news. At first I thought it was scripted, but when Smith won an Oscar for his role as tennis father Richard Williams in "King Richard," his annoying acceptance speech made clear that he had something to apologize for.
Here's the first part of that speech.
Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.
Making this film I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis, who is one of the most strongest, most delicate people I ever met. I got to protect Saniyya and Demi, the two actresses that played Venus and Serena. I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people.
I know to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse, and you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that‘s OK.
But Richard Williams, and what I loved, thank you D. Denzel (Washington) said to me a few minutes ago, he said, “At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.”
It’s like I want to be a vessel for love. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena.
I just spit, I hope they didn’t see that.
I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena and the entire Williams family for entrusting me with your story. That’s what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern.
I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees.
I called his speech "annoying" because I find religious hypocrites way worse than regular hypocrites. Will Smith said he's overwhelmed by what God is calling on him to do and be in this world.
That must include going up on stage at the Oscars and slapping a comedian who makes a joke about your wife's hair, after which Smith yelled profanities at Chris Rock. Sure sounds like something God would approve of -- particularly the Old Testament God, who was big on killing people.
Smith actually believes he's a loving person. Delusion has no bounds when you're a religious believer who thinks God is guiding you. A loving person doesn't do what Smith did.
Someone who loves his wife and considers that a joke about her hair was out of comedic bounds could have sat in his front row seat and loudly said something like this to Chris Rock: "Hey man, that joke about my wife was tasteless. We need to talk about this after the show."
That would have been defending your wife, while not acting like a complete jerk. But, hey, when you think God is guiding you, there's no limit to what you feel is justified. That's how we get religious wars. Plus, the speech by Smith shows that he views himself as a martyr, just like Jesus.
It was dismaying to see Smith get a standing ovation from the Oscars audience. Sure, winning Best Actor deserves acclaim. However, slapping a comedian for making a joke about your wife deserves criticism.
So the audience should have sat in their chairs and given Smith some polite applause. What's galling to me is that no award winner or presenter spoke up about the horrendous damage Putin is doing to Ukraine, shelling residential areas, killing women and children, destroying entire cities.
Since the Oscars audience gave Smith a standing ovation, maybe they're OK with violence. Which would be decidedly strange, since most of Hollywood leans liberal, being eager to defend attacks against Blacks, the LGBTQ community, and other marginalized groups.
Apparently the 3.5 million refugees from Ukraine aren't marginalized enough for the Hollywood elite. Nor is a comedian at the Oscars. Maybe if they claimed God is on their side, as Smith did, they'd get more attention.