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Was Will Smith Justified?

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Photo of Will Smith at Comic Con by Gabe Skidmore

No matter who you are or how little you care about Hollywood tabloid bullshit, you know Will Smith slapped the shit out of Chris Rock. And, like everything else that hits social media, people have opinions. And most of those opinions are stupid. 

Here’s a summary of some of the most common responses to the Chris Rock incident:

Chris Rock said Jada looked like she was trying out for G.I. Jane. The joke was harmless and the fact that Will Smith reacted so violently is utterly absurd. 

This is true. Will Smith overreacted, but shit like this happens all the time. People make fun of each other and someone in the group takes the joke too seriously and snaps. This is more likely to happen when you’re poking fun at someone’s significant other. While Will Smith was wrong, this type of shit is pretty common. 

Then there’s the people that think Will Smith was totally justified. These are the types of people who post images of tough guys from movies with quotes attributed to them that they didn’t say. These people are to be ignored. Anyone who posts Harry Potter quotes and attaches them to photos of Martin Luther King is not someone who needs to be heard. 

Screenshot of a joke I made about the Oscars Incident on Bay Area Memes.

My favorite group are the people who go to great lengths to tell everyone what they would’ve done if they were Chris Rock. “If Will Smith would’ve slapped me, I’d beat his ass.” There are people I went to school with that I know for a fact have never been in a fight, but suddenly turn into Rambo at the first sign of a hypothetical melee. 

And since we live in America, you know there’s the group that is looking to turn this into some weird racial or political. “You know why Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock? Because the left has ruined comedy…” I’ve even seen people use this to talk about crime in urban America. 

Apparently Will Smith slapping Chris Rock over a 3/10 joke is a slap that needs to be analyzed so that we can symbolically understand the slow fall of the American Empire. Or maybe it’s not. 

Maybe it’s just a dude hitting a dude and the only thing remotely interesting about these dudes is that we know their names because rich dudes we don’t know put them on TV. 

That’s not to say Will Smith isn’t a good actor. Will Smith is actually one of my favorite actors. He’s among one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. He’s up there with Jim Carrey. And Chris Rock is a decent actor and when he’s not being limited by the Oscars, a pretty good comedian. 

And if it was real, was Will Smith justified? 

There’s also the possibility that this entire thing is staged. I didn’t even know the Oscars were on, that’s honestly because the Oscars, at least to me, and probably to many others in my generation, are completely fucking irrelevant. 

They needed something spicy, and since Kanye West wasn’t invited, Will Smith would do. 

And if it was real, was Will Smith justified? 

The real answer is who the fuck cares?

Climate change is upon us, housing prices are skyrocketing, our politicians don’t listen to us, Russia is threatening nuclear war, and on top of that, we’re still in a global pandemic. 

Also, if you give a shit about this, chances are you’re American, and if you are, healthcare isn’t a basic right in this country. Try focusing on that. 

I don’t care if Will Smith smacked every single person at the Oscars… I just don’t care. 

Why do you? 





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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is an Oakland-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground is available now!