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Where There’s a Will….There’s a Way

What It Felt Like in the Room When Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock at the  Oscars | The New Yorker

Just what you wanted and/or needed this morning; another witness to Sunday night’s unexpected altercation between Chris Rock and Will Smith.  While completely unnecessary to describe the event, I have, like so many, rehashed the event in my mind over and over.  What I found most disturbing, believe it or not, was not Will Smith’s slap but rather the stunned into submission reaction of the audience.  No one did anything.  Will struck a presenter and then continued to taunt him from his seat.  Moments later, while accepting his best actor award, Will had a tearful and seemingly heartfelt meltdown which room viewed in much the same manner as movie-goers witnessing what they cannot believe they are watching. Despite every attendee in the building earning his/her living from reciting words someone else has written, I expected a reaction.  I expected more.

Is this the new norm?

In my lifetime, I have seen a gradual but alarming change occurring; that being the failure of consequences.  Clerks in fast food restaurants unable to count out correct change to a customer, customer service representatives obviously put out by a request for help, employees working side-by-side with non-working employees all receiving the same wage and benefits regardless of performance.  Everywhere we look, people are falling short to perform their jobs, act as they should or live up to the expectation of their position.


Every witness and those after the fact have speculated as to what caused Will to react in such a manner.  Will tearfully recounting that love makes you do crazy things, although true, is not enough.  It has been my experience that things do not fix themselves.  Relying on that would be tantamount to assuming auto correct on our texting would convey what we are trying to say – and we all know how successful that is.

Every Action has an equal and opposite reaction

This suppression of response shown (if that’s even what it was) should in no way set the precedence for the reaction of the academy.  I have enjoyed Will Smith’s work for decades and feel that he has been long deserving of an Oscar nod, but his thug-like demonstration amidst a theater full of his performer-peers in absolutely unacceptable.  The debate regarding whether or not Chris Rock was aware of Jada’s condition and if the joke was “fair game” pales by comparison to the out of character and unacceptable response it elicited.  Chris Rock handled that situation with as much poise as imaginable.  I commend him for not allowing the moment to destroy the show or the evening.  I am truly sorry that the timing of it contributed to a lack-luster moment for Quest Love receiving his first Oscar – a moment he can only hope to recreate in the future.  But this liberty taken to strike a presenter must not be tolerated.  The academy must issue as response that will be felt as stunningly as the bitch-slap itself. 


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