Will Smith’s ‘delivery’ at the Oscars is symptomatic of cancel culture gone mad — Analysis
The ‘Oscars slap’ that resounded around the world is just a new facet of a growing problem
Will Smith attacked comedian Chris Rock at the Academy Awards. This is a sickening sight that reflects the state of American society.
For those who missed the best primetime television in many years, the comedian Chris Rock, while performing a routine at the 94th Academy Awards, cracked a lame joke about the actor Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
“Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2,” he quipped, a reference to the woman’s shaved head due to a hair loss condition brought about by an autoimmune disease she suffers from.
Seen laughing at first, Smith, realizing that his wife was not favorably impressed with being the butt of a joke, strolled on stage and delivered a resounding smack to the side of Rock’s face. Smith then went back to his seat in front of the audience and made expletive-filled statements. Perhaps the only thing that saved the situation from requiring the National Guard was Rock’s remarkable ability to keep the show going.
Smith’s behavior was so shocking that – aside from momentarily halting talk of World War III in its tracks – it had many viewers convinced it was a publicity stunt, a staged event to boost sagging viewership of America’s premier bonfire of the vanities. Will Smith may be a good actor, but he’s not that good. That fact is, we have wandered precariously far from our grandparents’ – even from our parents’ – halcyon days of America.
Smith’s erratic behavior serves as a metaphor for a nation that is now tearing itself apart with gratuitous violence, much of which has been engendered by Hollywood itself, and not just with the devilish, blood-stained productions it churns out annually.
Consider the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, for example, which saw numerous looters, arsonists, and thieves – responsible for a billion-dollar wave of private property destruction that stretched coast-to-coast – being released from prison thanks to the benevolent intervention of Hollywood actors like Seth Rogen, Steve Carell, and Ben Schwartz (all of whom can afford to live in high-security gated communities, by the way), who happily bailed them out of their incarceration. How does this set a good example for the rest of society, particularly those who are more criminally inclined?
What about Jussie? In 2019, this Hollywood actor staged a hate crime against himself, sending the overworked Chicago Police Department on a wild goose chase for ‘white supremacists’ that only existed in his febrile imagination. How much did Smollett have to pay to hire two Nigerian brothers as accomplices in a racist crime scene, complete with the provocative plot device known as a noose. Smollett was sent to county jail for 150 days on March 10. However, his lawyers immediately appealed and posted bond so that the young man was back out on the street today.
Then there is California – the decadent citadel of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and defunct liberal politics – where the act of enforcing the law has practically become a crime itself. Today, it’s just another day in the neighborhood to see gangs of young thugs clearing out retail stores of merchandise as shop clerks look helplessly on. This new craze among the misguided miscreants was inspired by an amendment to California’s legal code – in reality an invitation – which says that stealing merchandise worth $950 or less is just a misdemeanor. The next thing we’ll probably be seeing is various Bloods and Crips asking nervous sales clerks to ring up their goods just to make sure they didn’t commit a felony.
The insanity has gotten so out of control that many liberals call these coordinated thefts an acceptable form of ‘reparations’ for the slavery that African Americans were forced to endure many decades ago (what the argument fails to consider, however, aside from pure logic, is that many white youths are also participating in the ‘five-finger discounts’).
Although the ‘Oscars incident’ cannot be simplified as a matter of race, unfortunately that is exactly where the mainstream media is leading the discussion. In response to the spectacle of two Black celebrities being in the spotlight for undesirable reasons, it was just a matter of time before ‘white privilege’ – the one-size-fits-all solution to any social problem – was dragged kicking and screaming into the conversation.
Tayo Bero is a columnist at The Guardian. “White outrage about Will Smith’s slap is rooted in anti-Blackness,”She then said she was unable to understand why it happened. “the same white audiences who consume violence against Black people on screen to an almost fetishistic degree … are so distraught about an open-palm slap.”
So, in other words: We should all be thankful that Will Smith only slapped Rock. Bero seems to forget that violence is not just something that happens in movies, it is also possible for real-life aggression against someone else. Rock declined to answer police questions about Smith.
Lurking in the background of this debate is something that has been casually overlooked, it seems, and that is the deranged ‘cancel culture’ that much of the Western world has been forced to inhabit. As Chris Rock found out, comedy is not the same fun-loving profession it used to be. Sure, laughing at the expense of someone’s life-changing disease is in pretty poor taste, but when has poor taste ever stopped comedy? This should not be an issue for the booing crowd but physical assault. The bar on human stupidity got raised at the Oscars to another level, and there is no doubt that some fools out there will be tempted to see Will Smith’s example of ‘heroism’ and raise it a few extra feet.
This goes beyond mere concern for comedians, of course, who are now forced, like everyone else, to navigate the unpredictable terrain of people’s ever-changing ‘feelings’. There’s a push now to make it a hate crime to carelessly address someone with the wrong gender pronoun, for example, of which there now appear to be hundreds.
Will Smith is in some ways the symbol of the powerful corporation or the government which enforces its power whenever someone offends. Criminals get tired of being arrested, we move to defund police departments; students feel frustrated when they can’t pass their math exams, we move to cancel the axioms of mathematics; a comedian offends our sensibilities, we storm the stage and hit him in the mouth.
In this crazy matrix of virtue-signaling that we’ve allowed to be constructed around us like a cage, whoever screams the loudest and kicks up the greatest fuss wins. And it’s the very same rule for social media. This is the precedent for intolerance. Users are not only getting smacked down for the crime of ‘wrongthink’, they are literally disappearing every day for expressing opinions that do not conform with those of the liberal overlords who now control this virtual prison planet like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, manipulating the dials on his mystical algorithms.
Today, our social interaction, which once upon a time happened face-to-face, has been reduced to that of a social media ‘user’, each of whom is able to create their own island of like-minded people; heaven forbid should a dissenting voice creep into the ether and disturb our tranquility. And when we are forced to confront criticism, different thinking or even jokes in the real world – in Will Smith’s case, at the Oscars – we may be compelled to strike out like, well, Will Smith.
We’ve forgotten how to accept criticism because our sanitized and isolated world, underwritten by cancel culture fanatics with heavy axes to grind, no longer condones it. Meanwhile, we’ve forgotten in our relative isolation from our fellow man that there is no ‘block’ button in the real world, just millions of jail cells waiting to be filled.
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