Special Event: Oscars 2022: Predix, Red Carpet, Event
March 27, 2022 1:54 PM - Subscribe

Welcome to the 2022 Oscars post! In the US, they air on ABC beginning at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific.

Feel free to share your predictions in this thread before the ceremony starts, critique red carpet fashion, and discuss the winners, the speeches, the snubs -- every tiny little thing!

(And if you are watching time-delayed, that's okay! Throw your comments in at the end as you watch because we'll all still want to read them!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (440 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
The annual red carpet pre-show will also be available to stream live on EW.com, PEOPLE.com, EW and PEOPLE's YouTube channels, EW and PEOPLE's Twitter pages, EW and PEOPLE's Facebook pages, and PeopleTV. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. PT
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:08 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Spiderman will win the new peoples choice oscar.
posted by sammyo at 2:26 PM on March 27


I have once again seen fewer of the nominated films than I should have, given how many of them are available for streaming, but maybe the ceremony will jump start my interest.

Local Baltimore kid done good Dontae Winslow is going to be lead orchestrator, conductor, composer, arranger, and trumpet player for the ceremony, which is cool.
posted by the primroses were over at 2:36 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Looking at the nominees and taking the Academy’s history into account, my expectation/prediction is a Belfast Blowout.
posted by wabbittwax at 2:51 PM on March 27


I must say, the online stream by People/EW is not worth watching if you’re expecting actual red carpet looks. Nary a one in the first half hour.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:11 PM on March 27


The E!News website has a pretty decent red carpet gallery. There have been some lovely gowns, but my fave look so far is David Oyelowo's suit.
posted by the primroses were over at 3:36 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Also, the first hour of awards that aren't being aired live is beginning now. NYT pop culture reporter Kyle Buchanan is live tweeting it at this link.
posted by the primroses were over at 4:06 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I'm digging the pre-show more than usual, Vanessa Hudgens is good at this, and a lot of the actors seem more relaxed and fun than usual!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:27 PM on March 27


I am at a bar in Brooklyn where they have a free Oscar event - complete with a free glass of prosecco, free popcorn and a photo booth with red carpet and prop Oscar's. A couple of hosts are doing some goofy "red carpet" interview moments asking random people "who are you wearing" and so far my favorite is this one guy who said "I think this shirt was my Dad's."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:54 PM on March 27 [12 favorites]


I cannot express how much I love the everything-tennis-ball-colored Beyonce performance; the color is wildly over-the-top but it's just so delightful.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:04 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Ariana DeBose! So well deserved, and her pantsuit with cape is gorgeous.
posted by the primroses were over at 5:21 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


One for the trivia books: Vito Corleone, the Joker, and now Anita.
posted by cheshyre at 5:32 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Ohhhh, was wondering why green. Just great.
posted by sammyo at 5:54 PM on March 27


Loving the shirtless Chalamet.
posted by goofyfoot at 5:55 PM on March 27


Those dancers during "Dos Oruguitas" were totally not necessary.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:06 PM on March 27


Ok so maybe it’s gonna be a Dune blowout
posted by wabbittwax at 6:08 PM on March 27


Agree re the dancers
posted by goofyfoot at 6:08 PM on March 27


Worst dancer ever. Embarrassing. Straight out mugging.
posted by sammyo at 6:12 PM on March 27


I’m lovin this stage / set design.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:26 PM on March 27


The sight of the whole audience ASL applauding for Troy Katsur's win nearly made me cry.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:26 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Wow. Troy Kotsur winning best supporting actor is one of the most touching moments I’ve witnessed at an awards show.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:27 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]




The first time they played him off early was an accident, but Ryusuke Hamaguchi was still not done when they walked him off stage. :(

Happy for Jenny Beavan, and for me that I can refer to Cruella as an Oscar winning movie.
posted by the primroses were over at 6:45 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I don't know if Troy Kotsur's interpreter was channeling Kotsur's emotion or if the interpreter was getting emotional himself, but I found it really moving. What a fantastic speech.
posted by gladly at 6:48 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Jenny Beavan is a delight!
posted by goofyfoot at 6:49 PM on March 27


Need a score card for the Bruno act, yow!
posted by sammyo at 6:53 PM on March 27


So yeah- when they started in with " We Don't Talk About Bruno", EVERY SINGLE PERSON in this bar started singing along.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:53 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Elliot Page!!!
posted by goofyfoot at 7:00 PM on March 27


I don't know if Troy Kotsur's interpreter was channeling Kotsur's emotion or if the interpreter was getting emotional himself, but I found it really moving. What a fantastic speech.

I don't think I could have made it through that speech without cracking if I was the interpreter.
posted by LionIndex at 7:14 PM on March 27


Okay - what is up with these ridiculous People's Choice things they keep doing?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:15 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


this made me LOL:

"So you may not know, but the words 'Oscar-nominated' can be used, in the hands of a skilled 17-year-old, as an insult." (Film editing acceptance speech for Dune)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:25 PM on March 27 [5 favorites]


What???
posted by sammyo at 7:27 PM on March 27


Chris Rock!!!!
posted by goofyfoot at 7:27 PM on March 27


Everyone else get an audio dump with Chris Rock, or was it just me?
posted by LionIndex at 7:28 PM on March 27


That was uh kinda awkward
posted by wabbittwax at 7:29 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Unscripted punch? Oscar going all white next year.
posted by sammyo at 7:29 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I saw Will Smith mouthing the phrase: “keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth”
posted by wabbittwax at 7:30 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


Questlove!!!
posted by goofyfoot at 7:31 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


But Questlove got an Oscar though!
posted by wabbittwax at 7:31 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


That punch sound sounded like an effect....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:31 PM on March 27


Who knew Diddy could bring peace and love to the Oscars?
posted by gladly at 7:33 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Will Smith just smacked Chris Rock in the face, unscripted—yet he’s still sitting there? Apparently whole theatre is still talking about it…
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:35 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


See, this is why I think it was scripted.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:36 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


And the several seconds of mics cut with Smith swearing at Rock? Reporters in the theatre (twitter sources) seem to think it was real… hmm
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:37 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


What did Rock mean? GI Jane??
posted by sammyo at 7:37 PM on March 27


I wonder why the women who suffered aren't represented re the Godfather.
posted by goofyfoot at 7:37 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


demi Moore shaved her head for that role
posted by brujita at 7:38 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Video here
Seems pretty real to me… yikes.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:38 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Y'all I'm not actually watching, but: does anybody know what those sculptures are all over Maggie Gyllenhaal's dress? Is one an elephant's head? What are the others?
posted by amtho at 7:39 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Jada has a hair-loss condition she's talked about openly and is unwigged for the event. This is the weirdest fucking Oscars ever; it's on par with the one where Rob Lowe serenaded Snow White. But I'm pretty sure we just witnessed an assault, and what the hell?
posted by heyho at 7:40 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]




jada looked tight-lipped on the red carpet
posted by brujita at 7:42 PM on March 27


People getting assaulted at awards nights is an honoured Australian tradition, FWIW
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:50 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


I couldn’t see much of the punch/slap itself, but the aftermath certainly looked real to me.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:53 PM on March 27


DOS ORUGUITAS LOST BEST SONG

I DEMAND RESTITUTION
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


That GI Jane joke was totally out of line, and also, you can't assault people at the Oscars. Although I bet the Oscars people aren't mad: it'll probably be good for next year's ratings.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:58 PM on March 27 [5 favorites]


Toxic Masculinity Ruins The Party Again (TM)
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:02 PM on March 27 [36 favorites]


Well...I'd rather LMM be able to be at the OSCARS when he can finally add to his future EGOT totals.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:05 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


My kid was in shock. I’m shocked it hasn’t been talked about yet, and he’s still there.
posted by furtive at 8:05 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Timothy Burke has the Japanese TV version:
posted by LostInUbe at 8:05 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Uncensored footage via Japanese feed (sl Twitter)

It looked to me like Wil was trying to hide a grin on his way back to his seat, but his statements towards Chris seemed real enough? Weird night.
posted by nubs at 8:05 PM on March 27


I wonder if Lin Manuel Miranda would have done the Megan Thee Stallion part of the Bruno mix if he had been able to be there. Popping up in the middle of a song in that style seems like something he would do
posted by maleficent at 8:06 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


My goodness. Will Smith did that.
posted by goofyfoot at 8:08 PM on March 27


This is uncomfortable.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:12 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


The Uma, Samuel and John bit was really awkward.
posted by flamk at 8:13 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Textbook gaslighting by Will Smith
posted by Ahmad Khani at 8:15 PM on March 27 [8 favorites]


Will seems like he’s going through some shit right now. From what I’ve heard, he and Chris Rock have both been using ayahuasca and have been kinda transformed by the experience.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:15 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Idunno, guys. The aftermath, this speech, it says to me that this was real, and I’m not celebrating assault, no matter how Will Smith cries and says he was ‘protecting’ his family.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:18 PM on March 27 [14 favorites]


I’m with you, Capt. Renault. Honestly I’m shocked that Will Smith wasn’t escorted out immediately, much less given vocal support and encouragement from other actors. His acceptance speech was pure gaslighting bullshit and I was appalled by it. You can’t say you’re all about love when you just sucker punched someone ten minutes ago!
posted by stellaluna at 8:26 PM on March 27 [28 favorites]


Okay, DAMN, I just watched that Japanese video. Holy shit. Like I know Will's been a bit different over the last few years, but DAMN.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:26 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


they wanted Zelenskyy here for this
posted by Ahmad Khani at 8:31 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


That speech was crappy, and I'm kinda done.
posted by nubs at 8:32 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


This is nuts.
posted by interogative mood at 8:32 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I feel like I’ve lost my mind here
posted by Ahmad Khani at 8:33 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Say what you will about Chris Rock’s joke but let’s give him some applause for being able to go on after that. I mean there is “the show must go on” and there is “just got punched in the face by Will Smith and he’s screaming obscenities at me show must go on”. I’m in awe of his ability to hold it together
posted by interogative mood at 8:38 PM on March 27 [50 favorites]


So many proud moments of anyone’s lifetime are going to be completely overshadowed by some asshole who had to prove something.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:39 PM on March 27 [30 favorites]


Well, that was wild, and the takes are going to be unbearable tomorrow.

Even money on Chris Rock hosting next year, I think.
posted by the primroses were over at 8:44 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Tomorrow?
posted by art.bikes at 8:52 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Amy Schumer breaking the tension was awesome.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:00 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Smacking a dude to protect your wife’s honor is a bad look, old-fashioned, patronizing and just boneheaded.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:05 PM on March 27 [14 favorites]




CODA won! I'm so happy about that and for Troy. I loved that movie, not to mention that I actually saw an Oscar movie.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:09 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Yep, joking about someone’s appearance can lead to a confrontation.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:18 PM on March 27 [7 favorites]


Joking about someone’s appearance, which she has publicly stated is caused by a medical condition…
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:21 PM on March 27 [11 favorites]


Also, kudos to Australian tv for not bleeping it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:22 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


That's super, super weird to me that Chris Rock would make that joke about a black lady's hair. I mean, he really should know better.

(Not that that excuses the violence at all.)
posted by Catblack at 9:25 PM on March 27 [15 favorites]


Oh, that was totally jerky of Chris Rock, though I wonder if he knew it was a medical condition (or assumed it was a voluntary head shave?), since I haven't been paying attention to Jada of late and actually didn't know she had one.

But that said, maybe smacking someone in the face and cussing him out on live TV RIGHT before you win an Oscar wasn't the best form either, sir?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:26 PM on March 27


hey someone just told me Smashmouth was playing at the Oscars! HEY NOW YOU'RE AN ALLSTAR GE....

oh.

What? What about the lead singer of smashmouth?

oh.

check please
posted by not_on_display at 9:31 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Will Smith should have been escorted out of the venue immediately. They could have just announced the award and mailed him the Oscar. I thought it was a vey bad look for all involved that they just carried on as if nothing happened. That said, sending him home would have helped him, because then he wouldn’t have made that awful speech that made him look even worse.
posted by snofoam at 9:33 PM on March 27 [25 favorites]


I didn't watch. But ended up reading Twitter all evening. Some women I follow there are applauding for "standing up" for his woman. Lots of people doing so in the hashtag.

So, on a night 3 women hosted, a woman won best director, and a gay woman of color won in acting, a guy sucker punched another guy at the show to "defend" a woman. To me, that's not defending her, that's toxic masculinity bullshit. And as much as I think the Oscars can be meaningless, it did take a good moment away from all the other nominees and winners.

Think what a moment it would have been if he instead had had maturity and self-control, and waited til his speech to praise his spouse to high heaven. Maybe say, she's never been more beautiful to me. Etc.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:37 PM on March 27 [52 favorites]


On the upside, this will completely overshadow the modern warrior/chelsa drama on Tiktok.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:39 PM on March 27


When Will wasn't escorted out, then won, I bet Kanye's brain turned inside out.
posted by heyho at 9:40 PM on March 27 [14 favorites]


Oh, great, thanks for reminding me that we get to look forward to more shitty Kanye drama next weekend :P I truly shudder to think what shit he'll pull if HE wins anything.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:49 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I've seen the smacking clip but haven't heard Smith's speech afterwards. I could see it being a situation where Rock didn't know about JPS's alopecia, or maybe he did and he thought he was making kind of a compliment comparing her to 1990s Demi Moore, or maybe he was being mean. In any case it was just a really strained, lame joke.

The fight sure looked real, but... I don't know. I know the Academy was desperate to get the show talked about, but if they wanted to stage a viral moment this was a really strange choice. Nobody looked good and the whole confrontation was just bizarre. I suspect we're going to be hearing about this stupid little moment for the rest of our lives. Rob Lowe's Snow White debacle ain't shit next to this.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:50 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Always strange when you watch live a moment that will be in the first two sentences of someone’s obituary.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:55 PM on March 27 [12 favorites]


The first rule of the Oscars should be like the first rule for Fight Club
posted by not_on_display at 10:15 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


I feel like I’ve lost my mind here

Don't worry, they'll fix it in post.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:05 PM on March 27 [8 favorites]


"Anybody know who won Best Actor?"
"No, but did you hear Will Smith hit Chris Rock?"

Nice one, Will. Way to legacy.
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 12:06 AM on March 28 [7 favorites]


Forget the Best Actor award ... I'm just so bitter that this whole thing means that JPS's outfit / look didn't get the attention she and it deserved as a result, because that was, like, nearly flawless Bene Gesserit chic. I wonder if she was channeling that purposely, or if it was just sort of in the air, après Dune? (or maybe it's just me — all in my head.) Not many could carry it off (especially such a small woman!) but my gosh, she has the regality!

(sorry, just here for the outfits; I saw no movies, and am so weary of nasty comedian dramas)
posted by taz at 12:45 AM on March 28 [10 favorites]


Oh, and Tom and Lorenzo had the best quote about Billie Eilish's gown: "This enormous pile of Gucci looks like a bad mood in dress form and while we don’t think it’s particularly pretty or glam, we respect it for giving the distinct impression that it doesn’t care what anyone thinks of it."

A bad mood in dress form! 🖤 Perfect.

I would just add "This gown has no tucks to give."
posted by taz at 12:55 AM on March 28 [16 favorites]


...this whole thing means that JPS's outfit / look...

JPS?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:24 AM on March 28


Jada Pinkett Smith (link to a Harper's Bazaar article about her dress, which she indeed pulled off flawlessly)
posted by the primroses were over at 2:39 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I remember when Chris Rock was topical. I think it was in 1997, when GI Jane was released.
posted by biffa at 3:03 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I am going to aggressively attempt to change the subject here:

So when Yuh-Jung Youn was announcing the Best Supporting Actor winner, she opened the envelope, then before she spoke, she made some kind of hand gesture. Am I correct in assuming that she was trying to sign his name first?

Also - when he got up there and they gave him the statuette, and then she took it back from him, I legit thought that was some kind of a bit for a few seconds before I realized "Oh, wait, that's right, he needs his hands free to make his speech...."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:06 AM on March 28 [10 favorites]


Yeah, according to what I've seen, she signed his name before announcing it aloud, and then signed "congrats, I love you."

Transcript of his speech from the LA Times (link is directly to the LA Times and will give you a pop up about subscribing, but should not be inaccessible if you're an infrequent visitor to the site, not sure when the paywall kicks in)

If you would rather watch the speech, this Playbill link has videos of both Kotsur's speech and DeBose's.

Another nice overshadowed moment was Lady Gaga and Liza Minelli presenting Best Picture - such a kind, easy interaction.
posted by the primroses were over at 4:45 AM on March 28 [8 favorites]


Well now I dislike Will Smith even more!
posted by SoberHighland at 4:46 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I've seen the smacking clip but haven't heard Smith's speech afterwards.

We actually went to bed after the slapping.

I like Chris Rock but his jokes weren't funny last night. The "GI Jane" reference is to a movie decades old. I had no idea about Ms. Smith's condition, but bald jokes are like fat jokes: just not funny.

I thought her eye-roll was absolutely withering, and enough of a response.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:01 AM on March 28 [8 favorites]


We kinda thought Liza was so out of it that it seemed exploitative, or at least not a good call, though Gaga did the best she could.
posted by snofoam at 6:12 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


At least we had the chance to celebrate the 30th anniversary of White Men Can’t Jump before things went off the rails.
posted by snofoam at 6:16 AM on March 28 [5 favorites]


So... the devil made him do it. Really? Pffft. I think I'm finally done with the Oscars. I know I'm done with men who shield and defend one another that way. How many women won last night? Oh, right, that's not the conversation the world wants to have. Of course it's not.
posted by heyho at 7:00 AM on March 28 [5 favorites]


Full credit to Amy Schumer for corralling the mood after that, but -- once again it's up to women to clean up the mess men have made.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:08 AM on March 28 [12 favorites]


Has anyone officially welcomed Chris Rock to Earth yet?
posted by emelenjr at 7:16 AM on March 28 [5 favorites]


Will Smith has been living on Planet Rich & Famous for so long, he's barely recognizable as a human anymore. I swear, that kind of fame disconnects people from reality and the only options are to insulate yourself with your own people or to lose your bearings entirely. Even in the former case, there's a fine line between "My entourage keeps me grounded" and "surrounded by yes men and enablers."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:56 AM on March 28 [9 favorites]


Beginning to think maybe events on a certain playground in West Philadelphia may have gone differently than depicted previously by Hollywood.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:10 AM on March 28 [8 favorites]


Yeah, it’s not that complicated. It was the wrong day and time to be joking about someone’s appearance. Nobody realized that until Will did what he did.

Chris has declined to press charges because he knows he was wrong. Besides, ticket sales of his current show have gone through the roof.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:10 AM on March 28 [9 favorites]


Yeah, it’s not that complicated.

Yeah, you shouldn't hit somebody.
posted by Pendragon at 8:22 AM on March 28 [40 favorites]


You know what I'm thinking? This is reminding me of when Tom Cruise started going off the rails. Remember when he used to be restrained and chill and not obviously whackadoodles, and then there was this shift where he fired his publicist and went couch-jumper and whatnot?

Will's clearly been having some kind of shift towards the crazeballs for the last few years. We kept hearing allllll this shit about his open marriage and whoever the hell Jada was dating (I've heard FAR more about that than her alopecia), and then he wrote his autobiography and had all these extreme reveals in it. I feel like Will's been heading towards Crazy Town for awhile now, and look, he just landed.

Seriously though, these two were Dick and Dicker. It seems at least fairly likely that Chris Rock, working in Hollywood, might have heard she wasn't bald by choice more than I had, though so far I don't see that proven on the Internet. He shouldn't have done it. But Will should have just addressed it with Chris verbally only once the show was over.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:25 AM on March 28 [15 favorites]


In a parallel universe where Chris Rock hadn't gotten assaulted by Will Smith, there would have been room to discuss how terrible his "joke" was. But in our universe? The one where he did get assaulted? In which Will Smith didn't get escorted off the premises? And then Smith got TWO STANDING OVATIONS from the very audience that witnessed the assault he committed?

In this universe, talking about the badness of Rock's joke is victim-blaming. The context in which we could have critically analyzed his jokes without causing greater harm is not this context. This man got assaulted for doing his job, watched his assailant get celebrated for victimizing him, and had to go back up on stage to continue doing his job serving the same crowd which sided with his assailant. We don't get to say, "Well, he was asking for it."

Seriously, fuck Hollywood celebrity culture. These people are messed up.

(BTW: I don't keep up with celebrities much, so I am out of the loop & am confused. I see a lot of people saying, "I am not a Chris Rock supporter but..." - what is that about? Is Chris Rock 'problematic' or whatever?)

On preview: YES, jenfullmoon, Tom Cruise's couch jumping is exactly what this reminds me of, too. Not a coincidence that both are Scientologists. Ugh.
posted by MiraK at 8:35 AM on March 28 [48 favorites]


In this universe, talking about the badness of Rock's joke is victim-blaming.

QFT. Emotional self-regulation is a basic, essential skill that we begin teaching in early childhood, and (to quote my mom's wisdom) each and every one of us is entitled to our feelings but responsible for our actions.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:59 AM on March 28 [9 favorites]


Okay, this is the ONLY comment about The Incident I've dug - some online wag pointed out that "you know, I think that before the show, Chris Rock congratulated Denzel on his nomination - and I think that means he said the name 'MacBeth' out loud in a theater. So maybe...."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:01 AM on March 28 [14 favorites]


I didn't watch the Oscars--I went hiking yesterday afternoon and was deeply exhausted afterwards--but now this thing is eating the internet in big gulps and I've got a few thoughts about it. Mostly, I wonder if this wasn't manufactured to some degree in order to restore interest in the Oscars ceremony itself, the viewership of which has been declining in recent years, and not just because of the pandemic. It's always been just another industry awards ceremony, not inherently much more interesting than the awards banquet for the Tractor Parts Distributor Association or what have you; while it may be interesting to discuss the results of the voting in terms of what's popular vs. what's Genuine Art and so on, the ceremony itself has no particular reason to be of interest to anyone but the industry people who get dressed up for it just the way that the tractor parts distributors do for their thing. And, with Peak TV still humming along, there doesn't really seem to be any particular need for this thing.

Except to the people who work on the show, of course. As others have pointed out, Rock probably didn't write the gag himself, and putting in a reference to a box-office bomb from 25 years ago is about the sort of caliber of joke that we've come to expect from the Oscars show... and who thought to put in a joke like that about the spouse of a major award nominee, who just happened to be sitting within easy reach of the emcee? I don't think that Rock and Smith (at least not Smith) were necessarily in on it. But it'll be interesting to see if this gets raised again next year, prior to the show.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:09 AM on March 28




talking about the badness of Rock's joke is victim-blaming.crumble

He wasn't a victim when he told the joke.

I feel more sorry for him that he used to be the funniest man in the world and now he's reduced to making GI Jane jokes in 2022.
posted by biffa at 9:16 AM on March 28 [10 favorites]


I would find this behavior deeply troubling in a partner. iykyk

Smith should have been removed.
posted by jeoc at 9:26 AM on March 28 [7 favorites]


He wasn't a victim when he told the joke.

What’s this even supposed to mean, if not “he was asking for it”??
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 9:29 AM on March 28 [9 favorites]


One glib tweeter remarked that the pandemic has been hard on everyone, and I can't disagree. We basically now let all sorts of behaviors fly that wouldn't have been as acceptable in the before-times.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:30 AM on March 28 [5 favorites]


I mentally re wrote will’s speech:

Well. Here I am. I thought I’d be giving one speech and it looks like I’ll be giving another.

Chris. That joke was in poor taste. But if it wasn’t for poor taste jokes… you wouldn’t have a career. I shouldn’t have hit you and I’m sorry. You took it like a champ. You didn’t even break stride.

I’d like to apologize to the academy. I hope I’ll be invited back next year.

In my life I value love and class and protecting those I love; looks like my journey is still ongoing.

I’d also like to thank…..
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:33 AM on March 28 [17 favorites]


It's wild when people say what Will did makes sense to them. It's not normal. One very simple test for "Is [thing] normal?" is "Does this happen often?" This has never happened. This is the 94th Academy Awards. Literally thousands of celebs have been viciously roasted from the stage just over the last few decades. No one has ever hopped on-stage and struck someone before.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:35 AM on March 28 [31 favorites]


What’s this even supposed to mean, if not “he was asking for it”??

Not at all, it means I think it's legit to say it was a rubbish joke, in opposition to MiraK suggesting it wasn't appropriate to assess the joke quality. It was a rubbish joke regardless of what happened after it.
posted by biffa at 9:40 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Are we sure this isn't just viral advertising for the new grimdark version of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? ;)
posted by rikschell at 9:41 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Mostly, I wonder if this wasn't manufactured to some degree

The main thing that makes it clear this wasn't manufactured is the F-Bombs Will drops. Even when muted those where clear.. and on the international stream it wasn't muted.

No way that Disney would allow that.
posted by Pendragon at 9:45 AM on March 28 [6 favorites]


After Pinkett Smith boycotted the 2016 Oscars ceremony for its lack of diversity, that year’s host, Rock, suggested in his opening monologue that the actress wasn’t even invited to the show in the first place. “Jada went mad,” he began. “Jada says she’s not coming. Protesting.” Then he quipped, “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!”

Rock went on to poke fun at Smith, who many had pegged as a lock to be nominated that year for his work in Concussion. “Jada’s mad her man Will was not nominated for Concussion. I get it,” Rock said. “It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West.”
-- Rolling Stone, A Timeline of Will Smith and Chris Rock’s Beef ["The actor and the comedian used to be friendly — until a joke Rock made about Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2016 Oscars seemingly turned everything sour"]
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:45 AM on March 28 [5 favorites]




Assault is wrong.

You can just stop there.
posted by Pendragon at 9:59 AM on March 28 [7 favorites]


There are so many layers in which that joke was in poor taste, all of which Chris Rock absolutely fucking knew, particularly given the whole Good Hair documentary. He thought he had a captive audience and he thought he could tell a joke to humiliate Jaida in which both she and Will Smith would be forced to watch and smile without being able to do anything, and he chose to be as vicious as he felt he could get away with while leaving large swathes of the audience insisting he had no idea what he was doing. There are layers and layers to that joke: what hair means to black women, the context of his feud with Will Smith and his choice to aim a nasty joke at Smith's family member rather than Smith himself, the fact that Jaida's alopecia is something she's been on the record being vulnerable about--

Fuck that guy. He's not pressing charges because he knows damn well what the strength of his provocation was. And he was using Jaida as a pawn in whatever fight he has with Will Smith in the most tasteless possible way, in the smug and certain belief that no one would be able to do anything about it.
posted by sciatrix at 10:00 AM on March 28 [27 favorites]


To be clear, Will Smith wasn't right. But his reaction was understandable and measured (i.e. he only hit Chris once and walked away). Definitely not a great moment for him, but I totally get where he was coming from there. Chris Rock was absolutely wrong and should not have said what he said, but he did, and there were consequences.

I would have loved to see or know what Jada's reaction was after all this.

I'm also gleeful and disturbed that Will was echoing sentiments of a previous statement of Trump's, where he boasted that he could shoot someone on live tv and get away with. Watching Smith walk away after the slap made it clear that had the same mentality. So yeah, some equality at last, but what a terrible way to display it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:02 AM on March 28 [7 favorites]


> It was a rubbish joke regardless of what happened after it.

"Regardless" is such an inappropriate word to use here, because the function of this word is to erase, evade, and minimize the assault itself. The intent to erase and minimize the assault is even more clear in statements like this one:

> I feel more sorry for him that he used to be the funniest man in the world and now he's reduced to making GI Jane jokes in 2022.

> Chris Rock was absolutely wrong and should not have said what he said, but he did, and there were consequences.

> Will Smith[']s reaction was understandable and measured (i.e. he only hit Chris once and walked away)

It's straight from the textbook of how to justify & rationalize physical abuse. We all hear it every time victims of domestic violence come forward with credible evidence: people hellbent on keeping the focus on the victim's mistakes while simultaneously justifying, minimizing, disregarding, and/or erasing the abuser's violence.
posted by MiraK at 10:06 AM on March 28 [24 favorites]


But his reaction was understandable and measured

WTF ?
posted by Pendragon at 10:07 AM on March 28 [39 favorites]


Other takeaways from Oscar night: I need to see Summer of Soul and Lady Gaga seems pretty decent.
posted by mazola at 10:12 AM on March 28 [11 favorites]


Like... I agree that violence is never the best answer, but in a lot of ways I'm also thinking back to that guy who ran in, punched Richard Spencer, and ran rather than let Spencer normalize the crap he was engaging in. Smith was a lot more controlled and willing to risk a lot more in the moment than the anonymous puncher, obviously; among other things, he had to be. The choice to slap rather than punch there had to be deliberate; the specific context of two wealthy and famous African-American men engaging in this conflict is an incredibly important piece of context, and both of them knew damn well they would be judged differently to white men of equal wealth and status in the moment.

(LOL at the notion his reaction wasn't measured. Will Smith is incredibly measured and deliberate in his body movements throughout the entire incident; he is locked down, moving calmly, and again the choice to slap rather than punch is incredibly significant: it's less violent and more contempuous, which is really appropriate given the way that people are hypersensitive to the violent potential of black men and much more likely to react with fear to any hint of aggression from a black man.)

At what point, though, do you find that telling someone to stop with words is inadequate? What would an ideal way have been for Smith to force Rock to stop? Chris Rock has a long history with this kind of punching down bullshit, he knows exactly what he's doing, and he's clearly not going to stop at just needling Will Smith himself; he keeps going after Smith's family preferentially and dragging anyone in he can just to score a point. What leverage do you use to impose a cost on a comedian who holds the stage in an audience you are effectively forced to attend? What can you do when someone calmly looks at the most painful, vicious thing they can do to you, smiles, and giggles as they hurl a javelin at it?

Also: the comparison of this incident to physical abuse normalization is fucking hilarious. This ain't fucking domestic abuse here. Come on.
posted by sciatrix at 10:13 AM on March 28 [20 favorites]


OK, glad to know slapping people in the face is measured and understandable.
posted by Pendragon at 10:14 AM on March 28 [14 favorites]


"Lady Gaga seems pretty decent."

Her love and care for Liza (and Tony Bennett before her) was obvious and wonderful to see. She's good people.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:15 AM on March 28 [17 favorites]


To be clear, Will Smith wasn't right. But his reaction was understandable and measured (i.e. he only hit Chris once and walked away). Definitely not a great moment for him, but I totally get where he was coming from there. Chris Rock was absolutely wrong and should not have said what he said, but he did, and there were consequences.

An understandable and measured reaction would by definition involve Will Smith using his colossal platform (including when he won an award later that night) to make Chris Rock look bad for telling a shitty, offensive, hateful and bad joke about his wife. In the context of responding to a joke, both understandable and measured have long left the fucking auditorium when you make contact with the other person's head.
posted by Superilla at 10:16 AM on March 28 [36 favorites]


Beyoncé's Be Alive performance if you missed it. From the summary: Beyoncé opens the 94th Academy Awards with a performance of the Oscar-nominated song, “Be Alive,” at the Tragniew Park Tennis Courts in Compton, California, with appearances by Blue Ivy Carter, King Richard actresses, Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, and the Compton Cowboys Junior Equestrians.


So good!
posted by the primroses were over at 10:16 AM on March 28 [5 favorites]


> At what point, though, do you find that telling someone to stop with words is inadequate?

Let's for a second pretend that "telling someone to stop with words" and "slapping someone and curing them out on live TV" are the only two options available (they are not, Will Smith had a hundred other options, such as walking out, speaking out on twitter, making public statements, demanding that Rock be censured by the Academy with the support of others who would be outraged by Rock's joke, starting a public conversation about the harm done by jokes, etc etc etc etc etc).

But while we're pretending that those are the only two options, the answer to your question is AT NO POINT. Obviously! Like, jeez, are we really so brainwashed by the internet's keyboard warrior attitude of people 'blasting' each other or 'murdered by words' etc. that we really think violence is an appropriate reaction to someone who is telling a joke?!

> What would an ideal way have been for Smith to force Rock to stop?

I submit to you that it is not Will Smith's prerogative to force Rock to stop. This is Boundaries 101. Say it with me: we do not have control over other people, we are not entitled to control other people, and we should not try to have control over other people because that violates other people's boundaries.
posted by MiraK at 10:21 AM on March 28 [30 favorites]


An understandable and measured reaction would by definition involve Will Smith using his colossal platform (including when he won an award later that night) to make Chris Rock look bad for telling a shitty, offensive, hateful and bad joke about his wife.

Yes, that's a take on the matter and one that definitely would have been better in the long run, we can agree on that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:23 AM on March 28 [4 favorites]


Wild how many people ignore the wide, wide world of possible responses between "take it and say nothing" and "interrupt the live awards show to hit someone."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:24 AM on March 28 [19 favorites]


Presumably Will Smith could have just slammed Chris Rock on whatever social media he has just as easily.

I can't say I'm shocked that the Academy didn't stop Will Smith from getting his Oscar. Saying "no, you can't have it in public" probably would have caused even MORE drama.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:24 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Yes, that's a take on the matter and...

Apologies, meant to write "...that's a reasonable take on the matter..."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:26 AM on March 28 [4 favorites]


The main thing that makes it clear this wasn't manufactured is the F-Bombs Will drops.

I'm not saying that it was kayfabe, fully scripted on the part of the two key participants.

No way that Disney would allow that.

They will on Hulu, and recently put the saltier Netflix MCU shows on D+ with a new filter.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:30 AM on March 28


I can't say I'm shocked that the Academy didn't stop Will Smith from getting his Oscar. Saying "no, you can't have it in public" probably would have caused even MORE drama.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:24 PM on March 28

I think the Academy just did what they always do when faced with a challenging situation: they take the easiest, idlest option.
posted by ZaphodB at 10:30 AM on March 28 [8 favorites]


At the same time, I've certainly seen people who were just "telling a joke" as a way of cloaking aggression and hurting people without being checked, and MiraK I know you have seen this before, too. Sometimes it's not "just" a joke. And Chris Rock has a long history of telling just jokes that grind as painfully on people he thinks no one will defend as he can get away with.

If Will Smith had simply stood up, walked up to Rock, and shouted at him to stop, would that have been an improvement? What if he simply stood and shouted? How much of an attack does the joke carry? I see a wide range of reactions here that are really predicated on exactly how bad you think it is to make a joke predicated on the undesirability of a black woman because of a medical condition that is destroying her hair, because you are angry at her husband and you want to hurt him. Waiting until it's your turn to speak and making a comment is certainly much less disruptive, and it makes Rock's barb appear like a minor sally in an ongoing confrontation, hidden under layers of plausible deniability to fog the situation. Which is exactly what that line was finely calculated to do: to be the least obviously vicious to the vast majority of the audience while being maximally viciously felt by the Smiths.

At what level do we prize being polite and going with the genteel flow of the situation, and at what level is it worth it to be disruptive in response to someone who is very calmly and very deliberately taking full advantage of polite calmness to grind in as much pain as possible? When is it worth it to disrupt an event to make a point about the weight of the insults being levied? When is it worth it to stop a pretense of politeness and draw everyone's eyes to what is going on?

Man, I don't know. I would probably not have touched Rock in Smith's place, but standing up and bawling a boundary is absolutely something I would and have done when I see that kind of deliberate viciousness cloaked under calmness. I have in fact done it here; doing that was one of the first things I ever did on this site. Sometimes overt politeness is a weapon, too; and sometimes open aggression can be used to underscore exactly how much poison is lurking behind the laughter--especially when the jokester is not telling jokes in good faith to entertain everyone.
posted by sciatrix at 10:41 AM on March 28 [16 favorites]


At what point, though, do you find that telling someone to stop with words is inadequate?

I’m finding it hilarious that people here apparently believe that the Oscars stage is where we’re rationally ironing out the stickier nuances of a brand new concept called “fighting words”.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:41 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


It's straight from the textbook of how to justify & rationalize physical abuse.

But I'm not trying to justify abuse. I don't think the physical attack on Rock was justified. All I've done in this thread is outlined a way to attack Rock with words in response to his crap joke.
posted by biffa at 10:42 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Is it just me or is saying "I'd like to apologize..." not an actual apology?
posted by achrise at 10:43 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Sure! Because we're (rationally or not) arguing here about a related concept:

do "fighting words" even exist, first off, and should they exist?
posted by sciatrix at 10:43 AM on March 28


If Will Smith had simply stood up, walked up to Rock, and shouted at him to stop, would that have been an improvement? What if he simply stood and shouted?

It would have made the point without physical violence, at the very least. If you cut the slap out of it and just have Will yelling what he did, makes the point. Still embarrasses Rock in public, just not AS much, audience is not AS distracted afterwards, there's no ethical debate about whether or not to kick Will out (not that that seems to have happened).

At what level do we prize being polite and going with the genteel flow of the situation, and at what level is it worth it to be disruptive in response to someone who is very calmly and very deliberately taking full advantage of polite calmness to grind in as much pain as possible? When is it worth it to disrupt an event to make a point about the weight of the insults being levied? When is it worth it to stop a pretense of politeness and draw everyone's eyes to what is going on?


That's up to everyone's individual calculation as to what good it's going to do vs. how much of a problem it's going to cause for YOU if you stand up, speak out, and in this case, slap. It probably won't hurt Will to do that. If JADA had done the same, well, let's think about that one.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:48 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


People say "violence is never the answer." That's not true. It's never a good answer, but some questions are so horrible that they cannot have good answers -- or if they do, few people are saints enough to remember to think of them.

I'm going to listen to the voices of black women and especially disabled black women on this one, as well as the implicit statement that Rock made when he declined to press charges.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:49 AM on March 28 [26 favorites]


finally dipping into fanfare to check on the oscars thread, and... never has the gulf between the other spaces i frequent and here is so deeply felt. and i can tell which angle of the identity axes isn't clicking for people either.
posted by cendawanita at 10:56 AM on March 28 [17 favorites]


I'm going to listen to the voices of black women and especially disabled black women on this one, as well as the implicit statement that Rock made when he declined to press charges.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:49 PM on March 28

Frankly, that implicit statement may just be "I don't want the Church of Scientology to destroy my career."
posted by ZaphodB at 11:01 AM on March 28 [10 favorites]


Always interesting to see where people's morals diverge from mine on Metafilter.

Maybe I'm just fucking tired, but I'm 100% at the point where I believe that a single measured smack is an appropriate response to an intentional and malicious microaggression. If, for example, someone deliberately and viciously misgendered me on national TV, I would hope someone slapped them. (As a trans person, I actually consider Chris Rock's comment to be worse than that, given the entire context.)

I'm sure that makes me a bad evil marginalized person but whatever. "That's the reasoning of abusers!" This is incoherent. Stop calling it a "mistake" and "just a joke." It was deliberate aggression. Take a moment to think about how you're discussing what is an "appropriate" response to calculated aggression weaponizing systematic oppression against black women.

I will also note that Chris Rock has not, anywhere that I can see, apologized to Jada Pinkett Smith.
posted by brook horse at 11:02 AM on March 28 [29 favorites]


If anything long-term comes of this, I hope it ends the practice of the host "roasting" the nominees and other attendees at the Oscars and similar award ceremonies. It's always struck me as a little skeevy ("we saw your boobs!"), and sometimes downright brutal. At least at, say, a Comedy Central roast, the participants know what they're getting into and signed up for it, and usually will get their turn at the podium to return fire. Here, for the most part, the targets are actors and filmmakers, but not comedians, and they are there to celebrate and recognize each other's work, not get insulted on a national stage. And when they do they're expected to sit back and take it with a smile while everyone laughs at their expense. It's gross.

So yes - Will Smith reacted poorly. He physically assaulted someone, and should have been escorted from the building at the least. But I really hope the Academy and showrunners think long and hard about what lead him to it, and maybe work to avoid insulting their members and audience in the future, on what should be a night of celebration.
posted by Roommate at 11:06 AM on March 28 [12 favorites]


the implicit statement that Rock made when he declined to press charges.

No matter how angry Rock may have been, how inappropriate he thinks Smith's actions were, there was no way he was going to turn the white police state on Smith. His people probably rationally calculated that it wasn't worth it, but it's more than that. It's not like Rock is a flaming progressive, but two wealthy black men with any consciousness at all aren't going to sort their issues out that way.
posted by praemunire at 11:08 AM on March 28 [23 favorites]


Also: the comparison of this incident to physical abuse normalization is fucking hilarious. This ain't fucking domestic abuse here. Come on.
posted by sciatrix at 1:13 PM on March 28

It's not domestic abuse but it's a hell of a close relative. Smith's acceptance speech included disgusting, victim-blaming lines like "Love will make you do crazy things" which are straight out of the domestic abuser rulebook.
posted by ZaphodB at 11:08 AM on March 28 [19 favorites]


Vinny Thomas: White women after the slap™.
posted by fight or flight at 11:11 AM on March 28 [5 favorites]


Maybe I'm just fucking tired, but I'm 100% at the point where I believe that a single measured smack is an appropriate response to an intentional and malicious microaggression.

So you believe a physical response is warranted for verbal abuse ? OK, I'm out of here, that's just plain nuts.
posted by Pendragon at 11:18 AM on March 28 [15 favorites]


obviously, smith should've used his scientology powers and psychically find out he was gonna win anyway, so he can do a 'verbal evisceration' the likes of which will delight those who value decorum and also somewhat unnerved by the pattern of chris rock's picking on jds over the years. plus, it gives the chance for the producer to cut to camera 2 so we have precious footage of chris rock gurning silently in response. it'll all be very jokey and polite (very important).

I will also note that Chris Rock has not, anywhere that I can see, apologized to Jada Pinkett Smith.

Diddy has spoke out as self-appointed peacemaker to assure everyone that the air is cleared, but yup, no apologies as yet. isn't it daytime for the americans already?
posted by cendawanita at 11:19 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


Not a coincidence that both are Scientologists. Ugh.

Frankly, that implicit statement may just be "I don't want the Church of Scientology to destroy my career."

smith should've used his scientology powers


I feel like it should be pointed out that the Smiths haven't been Scientologists since 2015 at least (and this source is a guy who has literally written a book about how evil Scientology is). In fact, according to this source, Jada was the one who was heavily into Scientology, not Will. Now, they are definitely "enemies" of the Church.

So maybe we could put this whole "it's cool to make up conspiracy theories about successful black celebrities having Secret Powers" thing to rest, shall we?
posted by fight or flight at 11:24 AM on March 28 [12 favorites]


Maybe I'm just fucking tired, but I'm 100% at the point where I believe that a single measured smack is an appropriate response to an intentional and malicious microaggression.

Our society is filled to the gills with non-stop micro and macro aggressions. If throwing punches is the “appropriate” response, we need to get this hashed out ASAP cuz it’s going to be a bloodbath.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 11:25 AM on March 28 [19 favorites]


Serious question: Is alopecia a disability, or is it even a disability specifically for JPS, who continues to get high-profile work?

Alopecia is an autoimmune condition and it is painful.

It's a pretty nasty thing to do to accuse someone of faking a disability because they don't "look" disabled, btw.
posted by fight or flight at 11:26 AM on March 28 [28 favorites]


Just a quick question re: the "Chris Rock was out of line for telling that joke" perspective:

Are we sure that Rock actually wrote that joke? Doesn't the Academy hire a whole team of writers for the Oscars?

Also: has Jada been interviewed about this? What does she have to say about her husband's behavior?
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:29 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


I've been watching the Oscars all my life, and have had Oscars parties for decades (I love movies, and fashion, but I hate ceremonies, so it's a trip). But a few years ago, I stopped, some years I don't even watch, or I just have one friend over or watch alone. I'm so glad my friend was over last night, because I think I would have been curled into a ball of stress and crying from just...everything last night, culminating in That Event.

I think Mark Harris's tweet says it best for me: This has been so rancid. The genuinely mean-spirited jokes about easy-target movies. The attempt to convert elegant Regina Hall into some horny hot mess. The cruel insult, the confrontation that could not wait, the literal dance of death. Time for a real reckoning at the Academy.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:31 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


the fact is, the norms of conduct of one sphere was being fully practiced in another space with a different set of norms, so there's also the case that codeswitching skills would come in handy at this time. i bring this up because consider, if your society is extremely cognizant of state power and its dangers and abuses to your people, what measures of immediate checks and balances does your custom starts to self-select for? consider that he wasn't actually punching or repeatedly whaling on the other guy. it's as equivalent of me stepping on the foot of the man who kept following me across the market one time, even though he was clearly poorer and older and i was a fairly healthy woman.

So maybe we could put this whole "it's cool to make up conspiracy theories about successful black celebrities having Secret Powers" thing to rest, shall we?

well-received, my sardonic tone also didn't translate for the same reason this thread is still active. i'll be more careful.
posted by cendawanita at 11:33 AM on March 28 [4 favorites]


I believe that a single measured smack is an appropriate response to an intentional and malicious microaggression.

On live international television, though? And 45 minutes before you win your very first Oscar?
posted by Clustercuss at 11:34 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


Hey hey hey legitimate political discourse has a time and a place.
posted by NoThisIsPatrick at 11:36 AM on March 28


but that may not be a disability in the way that it is commonly understood to mean to those in disabled communities

I follow black disabled activist Imani Barbarin, and her twitter activity (own tweets; RTs) since this happened would prove otherwise, I reckon.
posted by cendawanita at 11:42 AM on March 28 [5 favorites]


SOMEONE with mic time needed to look at Jada direct tell her she looked beautiful.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:43 AM on March 28 [6 favorites]


Right or wrong, academy award or no, Will has effectively pariahed himself.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:44 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


If that happens, I can't help but think it'll stick for far longer than Mel Gibson, who managed to beat his partner, actively is (was?) an antisemite and somehow got out of Hollywood jail and got Hacksaw Ridge nominated a few years back.
posted by cendawanita at 11:49 AM on March 28 [10 favorites]


I've certainly seen people who were just "telling a joke" as a way of cloaking aggression and hurting people without being checked, and MiraK I know you have seen this before, too. Sometimes it's not "just" a joke.

Sciatrix, I totally hear you and in other contexts, you're right. But I think there is a huge difference between someone saying "It's just a joke" as a way of excusing the joke, vs. saying "it's just a joke" as a way of condemning the physically violent response to a joke. The former is wrong. The latter is valid.

A joke can definitely be a form of aggression, and this joke was aggression. But, like, say if some woman had pushed me - wait, no, if she'd pushed my husband! - and in response I pulled out a dagger and started stabbing her?? We would not be excusing my ridiculous level of escalation just because "pushing is aggression". It's bonkers. We can't call this 'understandable', because we would know that the rules of life don't come from the Maury Show.

I do apologize for my tone earlier, it was super disrespectful, and people who're commenting arguing the other side of this debate are all folks I really respect. I think there's just something screwy going on with all of us because of the pandemic. Someone said this upthread, I'm 100% in agreement. Our social norms are wonky these days.
posted by MiraK at 11:49 AM on March 28 [8 favorites]


If Will Smith had simply stood up, walked up to Rock, and shouted at him to stop, would that have been an improvement?

Well, his best response would have been not to respond, because Chris Rock is an asshole and who cares what he says. That's the difference between words and deeds, it's possible to choose to disregard words, walk away and be fine. But when Smith escalated to physical engagement by assault, he made two choices: how to respond, sure, but first, to respond at all.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:54 AM on March 28


I don't think this is gonna hurt Will's career at all. People who have done a billion worse things than that are still having careers. It just makes him look bad, for now, anyway.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:56 AM on March 28 [6 favorites]


"...but that may not be a disability in the way that it is commonly understood to mean to those in disabled communities..."

I'm disabled, and I would never say who gets to be in the club or not. If you say you're in, you're in.

A stranger policing whether someone else is disabled 'enough' is shitty and Ableist. That policing is only ever a prelude to whether that stranger has to make an accommodation or not.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:58 AM on March 28 [26 favorites]


> his best response would have been not to respond

IMO verbal aggression does merit (and necessitate!) a response. But you're right that Will Smith should never have responded directly. Ideally, Jada would have made a dramatic exit, or shouted back at Rock like Will did, or walked up on stage & taken that mic & said "Shame on you," (or maybe just posted that on Twitter), or raised more formal objections to the Academy, and Will Smith would have concentrated on amplifying her voice & efforts.
posted by MiraK at 12:01 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


Sharing this thread by mo_wizzy who responded to Barbarin's tweet :


Dude the amount of violence disabled black women face on a daily basis alone, but we're often in a position where we CAN'T physically defend ourselves.

And this key to problematizing this "toxic masculinity" rhetoric. With that take you're saying it would have been better if only Jada had been the one to respond that way.

1) a bw in hollywood?? blackmailed immediately
2) what if she couldn't?? did she have the spoons to traverse that stage to do the same thing?
3) how would Chris Rock have responded differently, and more importantly what is Jada's perception of how he'd respond?


I didn't copy her last tweet, it basically ended with her cussing everyone out for not keeping disabled pov in mind.
posted by cendawanita at 12:10 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


But, like, say if some woman had pushed me - wait, no, if she'd pushed my husband! - and in response I pulled out a dagger and started stabbing her?? We would not be excusing my ridiculous level of escalation just because "pushing is aggression".

It's very clear and unambiguous what physical actions occurred, so it's extremely disruptive to bring out hypotheticals. Nothing even remotely similar to a stabbing happened, so it would be great if don't turn this into some sort of slippery slope, IMO.

People clearly disagree about whether what happened was right or wrong and that's fine, but there's no need to bring in what could have happened.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:11 PM on March 28 [11 favorites]


I believe that a single measured smack is an appropriate response to an intentional and malicious microaggression.

I don't.

And I grew up with an older brother who got hit with alopecia pretty much as puberty hit. It was brutal for him. And for anyone who was close to him, because he had to take his rage out on someone. To this day, I've never suffered worse bullying than I got from him. And yet, all the time it was going on, I felt for him, I wanted to take on those who were bullying and humiliating him, make them eat their words, maybe tear their hair out while I was at it. But I didn't. Because that's not how I was raised. Violence was wrong. Period. My dad had fought in WW2. He knew what came of allowing it. Because that's what violence does. It escalates.

Which I suppose is my way of saying, f*** off, Will Smith. You assaulted somebody in front of a billion witnesses. If you had any humility, you'd disappear for a good long while. You don't deserve any more time in the spotlight. Go fight in Ukraine or something.

As for Chris Rock, yeah, f*** you, too, making fun of how somebody looks. You're an adult for f***'s sake. But assault and taunting are not the same thing. They just aren't.
posted by philip-random at 12:18 PM on March 28 [28 favorites]


just want to put another visible vote in for "wow, social mores on metafilter sure are different than in the rest of my circles!" which lines up nicely with this article i just read about what a rorshach test ppl's reactions are: The Oscars Slap Means Exactly What You Think It Does
(appreciate everyone sharing links to bring more info/context in! helps inform my flippant gut reaction, although as another person who's Fucking Tired and hasn't really ever seen polite carefully considered diplomatic verbal responses be effective in situations like this i still have to say about the slap... damn!!! i get it!!)
posted by gaybobbie at 12:25 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


I watched the first hour of the telecast and thought it was boring and poorly/bizarrely produced. The Slap Heard Round The World was probably a lucky break for them in that regard.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:28 PM on March 28


Are we sure that Rock actually wrote that joke? Doesn't the Academy hire a whole team of writers for the Oscars?

Neither.

The Academy has a team of writers, but sometimes the presenters go off-script. And I don't think Rock "wrote" that joke in the sense that he had it planned out and was saving it in his back pocket for the occasion - I think it was an off-the-cuff joke that was in VERY, VERY poor taste.

In short: Chris Rock and Will Smith were both asshats for different reasons, the end, let's go re-watch Lady Gaga be a sweetheart to Liza Minelli instead.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:39 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


It could have been off-the-cuff -- I think Rock would definitely make a joke about JPS's hair -- but GI Jane doesn't seem like a reference he would randomly make if it were. I'd have expected something, but whatever, I have no real idea.

Don't know the reliability of the story, but this guy claims he wrote the joke.

If I were Chris Rock, I'd start wearing a neck brace in public.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:52 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


One thing about violence is that it almost never has the desired effect. It's not as if Chris Rock was launching into an extended monologue about Jada Pinkett Smith and physical violence was the only way to get him to stop -- he was already moving on.

If Will Smith had simply taken Jada's hand and the two of them had looked witheringly at Chris Rock, the awkwardness of the moment would have fallen entirely on Chris Rock, and everyone would have quickly forgotten the incident, or simply remembered how Chris Rock made a tasteless and unfunny joke and came off looking like an asshole.

Instead, we're also talking about Will Smith's anger issues, toxic masculinity, his deeply weird speech trying to justify violence through love, and how he has probably sullied what otherwise would have been the shining moment of his life. Is any of that worth slapping Chris Rock for a stupid, thoughtless dig?

In other news, does anyone know what has happened to Liza Minnelli? She is only 76, but seemed entirely out of it. Her last appearance on Arrested Development was less than 10 years ago, and she seemed basically fine. All I can find is stories about her having some sort of viral encephalitis in the early 2000s.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:55 PM on March 28 [8 favorites]


Don't know the reliability of the story, but this guy claims he wrote the joke.

Good lord. Why on earth would you take responsibility for that? It's likely boldly proclaiming that you are the source of the turd in the punchbowl. Read the room, fella.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:57 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


The Academy has a team of writers, but sometimes the presenters go off-script. And I don't think Rock "wrote" that joke in the sense that he had it planned out and was saving it in his back pocket for the occasion - I think it was an off-the-cuff joke that was in VERY, VERY poor taste.

Note Chris Rock's previous joke: "Javier Bardem and his wife are both nominated. Now, if she loses, he can't win!" (Bardem's wife has a name; Penélope Cruz has been nominated four times and won one Oscar.) Just the tritest, shittiest "sheesh wives amirite fellas" crap.

There's at least four scenarios ranging in decreasing offensiveness:
* The writing staff (almost certainly with Chris Rock's input) came up with the joke in advance, and put it in the teleprompter.
* Chris Rock came up with the joke on his own in advance. In both this and the previous case, 10 seconds with google should have been done to figure out why Jada Pinkett Smith had shaved her hair and shitcanned the joke on the spot.
* Chris Rock saw Jada Pinkett Smith, knew she had alopecia, and made the joke on the spot anyways.
* Chris Rock saw her, didn't know she had alopecia (or didn't think of it in the adrenaline of performing) and spontaneously came up with what he thought was a joke over her hair style - a misogynistic, badly-aimed and also poorly crafted joke that is particularly offensive because of the specific cultural valence around Black women's hair (which Chris Rock produced and narrated an entire feature-length movie about) - but for all these faults was not intended to be an ableist joke.

One sad thing to me about this (and lord knows there's many things to be sad about, and being sad about one thing does not make the other things not sad or even less sad) is that if Will Smith had sat there, at least some of today's takes would have been about how hackneyed and crappy Chris Rock is, and perhaps it's time to put him out on the award host ice floe with Ricky Gervais. (And some would be about how Will Smith finally got the Oscar that he's been striving for.)
posted by Superilla at 1:00 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]




this guy claims he wrote the joke.

He's doing a bit. In his comments, his followers are laughing, as he's done stuff similar to this before, claiming he was the casting director for the Mario Bros. movie right after all of the flak hit.

Hate him for being a vulture, for doing a lame bit, whatever you like, but do not dream this man was serious or that he wrote that joke.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:17 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


I'm absolutely flabbergasted that anyone could believe a reasonable response to a shitty joke is to hit someone. Come on, man. This is metafilter, and I just read "he only hit Chris once." What the everloving fuck.
posted by something something at 1:18 PM on March 28 [42 favorites]


I just read "he only hit Chris once." What the everloving fuck.

All the favorites.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:23 PM on March 28


I would like to note that Jada did respond -- she gave Chris Rock a witheringly annoyed/pissed/done-with-your-shit look, which was displayed on the monitors in the theater. The social laugh that begins as soon as the punchline is told (but before it registers) began (Will Smith joined in) and then rapidly petered out into some pity chuckles as the auditorium saw Jada's reaction. The joke bombed, Rock acknowledged that it bombed (saying something like "well that went well" -- can't remember exactly). Jada Pinkett Smith very effectively responded to his (wildly tasteless, ugly, inappropriate) joke and had already shut that shit down.

It's frustrating to see people say she couldn't or didn't respond, because she could and did, and it was very effective. Obviously none of us have any idea what she wished she could have done, how constrained she felt in responding, etc.

FYI, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley also has alopecia and has talked publicly about how difficult it has been. She appears on Jonathan Van Ness's Netflix show (the episode about hair -- I think that's a direct link to the episode) and they talk about it. It was fascinating and moving.

From the Vice Article: "Professional critics have, meanwhile, treated the idea of someone getting slapped at the Oscars roughly like someone peeing on the Vatican" --- In case anyone cares, Yves Congar was the guy who peed on the Vatican.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:23 PM on March 28 [13 favorites]


There's a truly bizarre false binary going on with people pretending Smith's only choices were Tolerate Ableism & Misogynoir or Punch the Oscars Host in the Face. There were, in fact, so many other choices.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:24 PM on March 28 [20 favorites]


I'm disabled, and I would never say who gets to be in the club or not. If you say you're in, you're in.

The joke was in very poor taste regardless of whether JPS is disabled. Sorry if I missed a link somewhere, but has she said whether she considers herself disabled?
posted by praemunire at 1:28 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


FWIW, roasting the occupants of the front rows at the Oscars is a time-honored tradition - - think Bob Hope or Johnny Carson. Whether this particular roast was worthy of that lineage is another matter.
posted by fairmettle at 1:28 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


"In other news, does anyone know what has happened to Liza Minnelli? She is only 76, but seemed entirely out of it."

I mean....people can get dementia or Alzheimers at pretty much any point? My dad was only a little older when he started to show signs. She has also had a pretty rough life. I actually found watching her on live television way more stressful than the stupid Will Smith incident.
posted by cakelite at 1:32 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


If slapping Rock was that serious and awful, I'm not sure why people need to exaggerate and say that Smith punched him.
posted by asteria at 1:34 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


If slapping Rock was that serious and awful, I'm not sure why people need to exaggerate and say that Smith punched him.

Dude strode onto the stage and smacked the presenter in the face with what appeared to be full force. I’m not sure the way he held his fingers is all that relevant to the discussion.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:37 PM on March 28 [9 favorites]


If your deciding factor in "Was this physical assault on someone during live TV a big deal?" was whether someone's hand was opened or closed while striking someone else, it is possible you are operating in a different moral universe.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:38 PM on March 28 [21 favorites]


I would like to note that Jada did respond -- she gave Chris Rock a witheringly annoyed/pissed/done-with-your-shit look, which was displayed on the monitors in the theater. .... Jada Pinkett Smith very effectively responded to his (wildly tasteless, ugly, inappropriate) joke and had already shut that shit down.

Excellent point, Eyebrows.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:43 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


And it’s ok to be in that different moral universe, because choosing to slap instead of punch can indeed matter. One can show restraint, the other can indicate the desire to do serious harm.

Smith had a point to make, did so, and then walked away.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:44 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


It seems like there is a divide here between:

1. Intentional, limited physical violence (i.e. a single slap, a punch, maybe throwing something) is warranted when a taunt or behaviour directed at you or somebody(ies) you care about is sufficiently inciting.

2. Phyical violence is never okay, regardless of the provocation or who it is directed at.

I was all in on whoever gave Richard Spencer a good smack for being a goddamn nazi. I don't remember the circumstances but somebody threw a shoe at somebody a while back and I recall being pretty okay with that at the time as well.

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock full force for mocking his wife's medical condition made me uncomfortable.

There are very thoughtful and smart people having a conversation about this, and I don't know how to reconcile my own appetite and comfort with Nazi-punching versus my discomfort with Chris-Rock-slapping. So I don't really have a super great position here, but I appreciate the dialogue and am listening with appreciation and interest.
posted by Shepherd at 1:47 PM on March 28 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not defending slapping by any means, but to claim there is no difference between slapping and punching is pretty mind boggling to me. Pretty sure nobody has ever gotten a black eye from a slap, or gotten a broken nose, or broken jaw, etc.
posted by coffeecat at 1:47 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


Monday-morning quarterbacking, I think the best response would have been to get up and walk out. And tell all the reporters at the door why they were leaving.

I can't say I'm shocked that the Academy didn't stop Will Smith from getting his Oscar.

I mean, they gave an award to a literal convicted child rapist avoiding extradition, so I don’t think withholding an award from a man who slapped another man was ever going to be on the cards.

Dude strode onto the stage and smacked the presenter in the face with what appeared to be full force. I’m not sure the way he held his fingers is all that relevant to the discussion.

Speaking as someone who has been both slapped and punched in the face, yes, there is a big difference. It doesn’t make the slap right, but it doesn’t make it a punch, either.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:48 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


Pretty sure nobody has ever gotten a black eye from a slap, or gotten a broken nose, or broken jaw, etc.

People have died from being slapped. I'd be surprised if the others were out of the question. Is it less likely? Probably.
posted by No One Ever Does at 1:50 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


To my eyes, given that Smith slapped the ever-loving shit out of Rock, using the word "punch" is simply an attempt to express that more clearly than saying "slap" ...as that sounds a lot less serious than what happened. Saying someone "got a slap" is literally a go-to for saying that retribution someone got was light and primarily for show. That... does not feel like what that was.

If the word "punched" makes people uncomfortable, I am more than happy to stick with "slapped the ever-loving shit out of him." I may also go with "slapped the goddamned taste out of his mouth."

I do not find "he could have struck him harder or more times than he did" to be a compelling argument that his hopping onstage to assault someone showed restraint/was probably okay.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:52 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


But Chris Rock didn't die. He rebounded so quickly people in this very thread thought it was staged.

Twitter is already mocking the over-the-top hypotheticals people created to decry this act. I don't think we need to add our own version of what if Chris Rock was 3 toddlers in a trenchcoat and Will Smith was the 2nd plane hitting the Twin Towers.
posted by asteria at 1:52 PM on March 28 [10 favorites]


Oh my god, seriously. He was furious and scary. I have been a bald woman before, through no choice of my own, and if my husband had reacted in that way to “defend my honor” or some shit I find it very hard to believe we would still be married. I mean, we wouldn’t have been married in the first place because my husband wouldn’t lose control of his emotions in such a way to get up out of his chair, go onto stage in front of his entire professional industry to slap a colleague, and then scream obscenities in front of the entire world. This is not a man who calmly decided, “I’m gonna teach this guy a small and measured lesson with this carefully considered slap in the face.”
posted by something something at 1:54 PM on March 28 [37 favorites]


2. Phyical violence is never okay, regardless of the provocation or who it is directed at.

I think it's more like physical violence is never okay in response to verbal provocation, regardless of the verbal provocation, and especially if it was directed at someone else who is perfectly capable of responding to the provocation themselves.

> I was all in on whoever gave Richard Spencer a good smack for being a goddamn nazi.

The rule about punching Nazis, as I understand it, is that you punch them FOR BEING NAZIS. Not for something they said one time which made you mad. The punch results from principle, not from an individual moment of anger. If we won't punch a Nazi right after they've helped an old lady cross the street, then heck, we shouldn't be punching Nazis at all. (And just to be clear, I'm super duper in favor of punching Nazis.)
posted by MiraK at 1:59 PM on March 28 [13 favorites]


Pretty sure nobody has ever gotten a black eye from a slap, or gotten a broken nose, or broken jaw, etc.

This exact attitude has done a shit-ton of work in keeping women “in their place” for centuries, and the fact that it’s seriously being trotted out on Metafilter to defend violence is disgusting.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:00 PM on March 28 [31 favorites]


It honestly flabbergasts me that so many people here apparently have these kinds of tough guys fantasies about attacking someone for besmirching their lady's dignity. I think Chris Rock will come out way ahead in the end here and I can't wait to hear his material about the incident.
posted by cakelite at 2:00 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


This thread is disturbing.
posted by whatevernot at 2:01 PM on March 28 [11 favorites]


I am a survivor of abuse from a man with anger and self-control problems, and Will Smith's reaction terrified me. Whether such a thing is to protect the "honor" of his wife, an adult who can take care of herself, is completely irrelevant. Will Smith made it about himself.
posted by knotty knots at 2:01 PM on March 28 [29 favorites]


knowing full well that their money and status means there will be no repercussions.

Chris Rock is also very rich and famous.

This entire thread reminds me why this site is dying. There is no need for everyone to be this insufferable and sanctimonious over something this dumb that will be forgotten about in a week.
posted by asteria at 2:02 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


"something this dumb"

QFT
posted by whatevernot at 2:03 PM on March 28


a box and a stick and a string and a bear, I clearly said I'm not pro-slapping by any means, I just find it odd people here are acting like there's no difference between slapping and punching, the latter being more likely to do damage. Going from there to accusing me of defending violence against women is....quite a reach.

Also, uh, perhaps we shouldn't be wishing other members physical harm, a faithful sock? Yeesh.
posted by coffeecat at 2:05 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


"Knowing when your voice is not needed in a conversation is an important form of discernment." - Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

(not to point this at any commenter in particular, but I found it useful to keep in mind for myself. The linked thread is also very relevant)
posted by CrystalDave at 2:07 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


Oddly, in my background, one man slapping another is more insulting than a punch.
posted by Julnyes at 2:07 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


I mean, according to those defending Will Smith, it's not really any harm at all (particularly if you turn out to be rich yourself!). Maybe someone just has a point to make to you, and that's totally fine by these people. Who is to say what's wrong anyways?
posted by a faithful sock at 2:07 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I feel sorry for the other people who won Oscars last night. Their wins will be like the scourge of bar trivia in years to come, because no one is gonna remember.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:10 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


Washington Post: Oscars to launch a ‘formal review’ of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock as Hollywood reels from the incident
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” a spokesman said in a statement. “We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.” The Hollywood Reporter reported that “an emergency phone call” is being arranged with academy members.

According to People magazine, unnamed show organizers “definitely discussed” kicking Smith out of the Dolby during the show; CNN reported the same, but added that producers couldn’t “mobilize” in time. (The academy did not respond to questions about those reports.)

Will Packer, the executive producer of the broadcast, did not return a request for comment. After the show, he tweeted, “Welp…I said it wouldn’t be boring.” When another Twitter user criticized him for “making jokes about an assault,” Packer replied, “Black people have a defiant spirit of laughter when it comes to dealing with pain because there has been so much of it. I don’t feel the need to elucidate that for you. But I also don’t mind being transparent and say that this was a very painful moment for me. On many levels.”
Videos and reports from insider the theater show that during the commercial break right after the slap, Washington and Tyler Perry took Smith aside to speak with him; Washington was later seen talking to Pinkett Smith, as well. Smith’s publicist, Meredith O’Sullivan, also talked to the actor when the show went to commercial.
A USA Today editor tweeted that it was a “mob scene” at the star couple’s seats during breaks, as other celebrities including Keith Urban, Ariana DeBose and Daniel Kaluuya comforted and hugged them both.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:12 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


One time my dad slapped my mother and her eardrum tore and she's deaf in that ear to this day, some 35 years later.

Both these things are true at the same time: a punch usually causes more damage than a slap AND slapping the shit out of someone is serious fucking assault.

So much that's being said on this thread and so much about this incident itself is straight out of the patriarchal domestic violence playbook, it's scary! From discussions of whether verbal provocations justify slapping the shit out of someone (fun fact: this used to be my dad's justification for slapping my mom! And me!) ... to all the minimization of whether a slap is really all that bad... to everyone conveniently ignoring the fact that the person who did the slapping was NOT the target of the aggression, but he felt he was! It's all there.
posted by MiraK at 2:13 PM on March 28 [31 favorites]


The idea that it's OK for an individual to decide to full force hit someone in the face because they think the person is an asshole is an idea that will invariably harm more marginalized folks than it will ever help.

The fact that this discussion includes people who do not see that is fucking wild.

The fact that this discussion has become a semantic debate about what word to use to describe a grown-ass adult assaulting another adult for the crime of being an asshole (and Chris Rock is an asshole!) is depressingly unsurprising.
posted by a faithful sock at 2:17 PM on March 28 [20 favorites]


Man, the Red Table episode on this is gonna be fucking bonkers.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:17 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


I'm in total agreement with MiraK here - a punch usually causes more damage than a slap was really just my point, anyone reading my comment as an approval of slapping is reaching, hence my preface to it I'm not defending slapping by any means.

The idea that it's OK for an individual to decide to full force hit someone in the face because they think the person is an asshole

Who is saying that? I've only skimmed the recent parts of this thread, but I don't see anyone saying that- I could have missed it, but you seem to be picking a fight that nobody is actually trying to have.
posted by coffeecat at 2:23 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I want to highlight this comment:

Whether such a thing is to protect the "honor" of his wife, an adult who can take care of herself, is completely irrelevant. Will Smith made it about himself.

That could not be more true. Read this thread if you have any doubts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:25 PM on March 28 [9 favorites]


Pretty sure nobody has ever gotten a black eye from a slap, or gotten a broken nose, or broken jaw, etc.

That's quite blatantly minimizing the damage a slap does, and trivializing the seriousness of a slap. Also it's a lie just on a factual level.
posted by MiraK at 2:25 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


I'm done thinking about Will Smith and this moment, one way or the other. I really want to hear from Jada Pinkett-Smith about Rock's joke, and love her or hate her, you know she's gonna say something.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:27 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I’m really curious how those saying this is not a big deal would feel if it had been Amy Schumer instead of Chris Rock. Still not a big deal?
posted by something something at 2:29 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


I feel like this thread is becoming a pretty circular back and forth argument and really needs to be re-railed either by mods or maybe there should be some stepping away to have a walk outside and a rethink as to whether this is a healthy and helpful place to hang out in right now. I respect many of you all in here but some of these takes never needed to be posted.
posted by fight or flight at 2:34 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


To MiraK, yes, I clearly didn't articulate it well nor google "what's the worst injury a slap can cause," (just based on personal experience receiving or watching others receive slaps and punches, not a scientific claim, hence the "pretty sure" qualifier) but the point was really just to say that yeah, I personally much rather receive the average slap than the average punch, and I can understand why people would want to correct people on this thread misreporting what happened. Overall, a minor point.
posted by coffeecat at 2:36 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: I clearly said I'm not pro-slapping by any means
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:38 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


> I’m really curious how those saying this is not a big deal would feel if it had been [a white woman] instead of Chris Rock.

This really isn't a useful hypothetical. We do not need to force ourselves to wade into "helpless-white-damsel-assaulted-by-scary-black-man" hypotheticals, thank fuck. What I mean is, I'm sure the outrage at Will Smith then would have been far more universal, but it would be so for all the wrong reasons (as this thread proves).
posted by MiraK at 2:40 PM on March 28 [9 favorites]


I agree with you, MiraK.
posted by something something at 2:43 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Count me in as flabbergasted by this thread. Smith charged on stage, sucker-punched a guy who told a lame joke, then proceeded to sit back down and loudly, repeatedly scream profanities at the guy he just sucker-punched/slapped. Durning a televised awards ceremony for the entertainment business.

The producers should have cut to a break, and Will Smith—and only Will Smith— should have been escorted out of the theater. Period. Then a producer or spokesperson should have read a statement that physical violence (this was BATTERY, punishable by fine and/or jail time, by the way—not "assault") is not tolerated by the Academy or civilized society and we regret that this was just televised. That statement could easily have been written in 60-120 seconds by professional writers. Then the show should have gone on.

The fact that they let Smith hang out after committing a violent crime and then tearfully accept an award for fucking ACTING a half hour later... And people here are defending Will Smith in this? Unbelievable.
posted by SoberHighland at 2:43 PM on March 28 [32 favorites]


Coincidentally: @stitchmediamix:

For @teenvogue, I got incredibly spicy when it came time to talk about the wild responses tons of white people (and largely white WOMEN) have had to Will Smith smacking Chris Rock in defense of Jada Pinkett Smith. For starters? It's not about y'all!!

Article : The Will Smith & Chris Rock Slap Situation Is Not About You
Subhead: History is repeating itself, with white people reframing Black people’s neutral states or our valid anger as threatening to them

I'll include this portion: Instead of being about their disappointment that Smith isn’t the squeaky clean Black man they’ve believed him to be, it’s about their trauma. That’s why so many people are referencing how the slap and cussing combo has made them see Smith differently, how he’s somehow disrupted or ruined their childhoods. It’s also why they are making Smith’s slap about other situations and other people – things that matter to them more than Chris Rock – like Amy Schumer or the late Betty White. It’s all about trying to make you feel bad for people who aren’t even remotely affected… specifically white women. Because they can't imagine a world where a Black woman, Jada, is so loved that her husband would get up and slap someone to defend her honor. They're used to being the Regency romance lead. To be faced with anything else, especially a Black woman being defended? That's earth-shattering to them. As romance novelist Jenny Trout points out at the end of a thread about the situation, “It's just frustrating to see white people, white women in particular, justify why it's okay for them to pretend to be victimized by this. One person got their gums polished last night and it wasn't you and it wasn't about you.”

Trout's thread opens with:
like, i don't want to downplay the seriousness of domestic violence, but white people, we need to figure out a way to work through our traumas without tossing them casually on marginalized people and stating that we're the true victims in any damn situation.

like, this wasn't about domestic violence. YOU made it about domestic violence because YOU have unresolved trauma. and that trauma is making YOU spread harmful, racist rhetoric and demanding everybody center YOUR trauma and allow you to keep doing it.
posted by cendawanita at 2:48 PM on March 28 [24 favorites]


I mean Sean Penn has beaten the absolute tar out of multiple people, has been arrested for same, and has been abusive (if not physically) to his ex-wives and the Academy gave him multiple awards even after those incidents, so I don't think there needs to be any surprise that the Academy in general is willing to do some problematic shit in the name of entertainment.

It's said practically every year at this point but what dignity or honour do these awards actually have left? They're meaningless. Get rid of them. I'd like to see more of the industry stop feeding this toxic dump of a show.
posted by fight or flight at 2:53 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


> For starters? It's not about y'all!!

Wow, this is total bullshit. This was patriarchal violence, start to finish, and this IS about every single person who is impacted by toxic masculinity (not just women!). Like, men have been little boys in homes where their fathers slapped the shit out of them, too. This impacts them just as much as it impacts Black women. They have just as much of a stake in delegitimizing violence as a justified response to "verbal provocation" as Black women do.

I'm neither Black nor white, so maybe this is a "spicy" take? IDK. Not trying to be controversial here. But this isn't an "internal matter" for Black people, it just isn't.

> like, this wasn't about domestic violence. YOU made it about domestic violence because YOU have unresolved trauma.

Nah, I don't have unresolved trauma, thanks for your concern. If you don't see how this incident is directly stemming from patriarchal violence and sits skin-to-skin with DV, you are just not too educated on the subject (and lucky, too, congrats).
posted by MiraK at 2:55 PM on March 28 [23 favorites]


They're meaningless.

Nah, these shows are entertainment. No place for violent crimes, tho.
posted by SoberHighland at 2:56 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


That Vice article linked above said everything.

I would have been uncomfortable with anyone walking up on stage and slapping anyone.

But, like, I literally threw up the time someone took me to a boxing match when I was a kid, so . . .
posted by thivaia at 2:56 PM on March 28


hurts my brain reading certain users upthread saying how impressive it was that Will Smith chose a gentle slap instead of a powerful punch. if he had any sense at all, which he clearly doesn't, he chose the slap because it meant he could inflict both damage and insult without potentially fracturing his hand or knuckles.

thanks for your input and perspective MiraK, and everyone else in here who thinks it's not cool to go slap the shit out of someone in public because they offended your wife.
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 2:59 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


Trout's thread opens with:

And then proceeds to:

how many songs are there out there, sung by white women […]
how many romcoms starring white people have featured -[…]
but holy shit, watch out, a Black man defends his wife in real life and "I FEEL VIOLENTLY ATTACKED."

I love Jenny Trout, but that rhetorical move from fiction to fiction to IRL violence kinda needs some discussion if that twitter thread wants to be taken as good-faith argumentation.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:59 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


This reminds me of when Beyonce was in her Mrs Carter tour era, and no amount of patient explaining from black Americans that it's not necessarily seen nor experienced in the community as women giving up their independence when their history is that they couldn't even get proper freely married in the first place. But the unintersectional feminists couldn't see it until the whole tiresome thing had to be hashed out in mixed company for months.

ETA: heh, Lemonade era too.
posted by cendawanita at 2:59 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


From the Teen Vogue piece linked above:

Because they can't imagine a world where a Black woman, Jada, is so loved that her husband would get up and slap someone to defend her honor.

This! Is! Not! A! Sign! Of! Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by knotty knots at 2:59 PM on March 28 [24 favorites]


Because they can't imagine a world where a Black woman, Jada, is so loved that her husband would get up and slap someone to defend her honor.

This is not love. This is not what love looks like. This was something else and also ew to the talk of “defending her honor.”
posted by jeoc at 3:01 PM on March 28 [23 favorites]


it's not racist to be upset that a guy who's net worth is something like my phone number plus everybody else I know's phone number added together slapped another guy with a similar net worth in public
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 3:02 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


Mod note: Gentle steering note: Please avoid putting words in other poster's mouths, or rephrasing other people's comments to the worst possible reading. Please recognize that this incident implicates a lot of different axes of lived experience and marginalization, and people will be reacting very differently to very different parts of it. And please recognize that violence is lived experience for a lot of people, and microaggressions are lived experience for a lot of people, and strong emotional reactions to those things playing out in public may not be perfectly phrased, and demanding other people phrase things "just so" or you won't listen is a way of marginalizing others and shutting down conversation.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:07 PM on March 28 [13 favorites]


This! Is! Not! A! Sign! Of! Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sure, to you it isn't, but to some it clearly is. It's totally fine to recognize that people have different thoughts and feelings about this expression, but to completely dismiss one side points to gaping hole of understanding.

No doubt Will Smith has held and consoled Jada through all this, when she's been low, depressed, and frustrated with the disease. So yeah, seeing her ridiculed and hurt, particularly in a public forum, spurned his commit a rash act to protect someone he loves.

It wasn't the smoothest move or best choice, but to see it's not a sign of love sounds wildly ignorant to me.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:11 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


dude you're literally echoing conversations I've had with my friend group about guys who hit their girlfriends and strangers in bars because of jealousy and how to deal with those guys. physical violence is not "clearly" a sign of love, it's a sign of a person who doesn't know how to control their emotions and is used to being able to make any problem go away by hitting it.
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 3:13 PM on March 28 [19 favorites]


Whatever your opinions or mine are about whether public displays of violence ("in her honor") are a sign of love are beside the point. What's shameful here is that this was published in Teen Vogue, and younger audiences and readers of that publication--mostly female, and in their formative, impressionable years--are going to take this into consideration when evaluating their romantic relationships.

Love shouldn't look like shouting and hitting. Full stop.
posted by knotty knots at 3:18 PM on March 28 [13 favorites]


What's shameful here is that this was published in Teen Vogue, and younger audiences and readers of that publication--mostly female, and in their formative, impressionable years--are going to take this into consideration when evaluating their romantic relationships.

I get the gist but if this is your sticking point for "young girls are being taught unhealthy expectations about love" then I'd like to lead you back 100 or so years of.. everything.. up to and including Disney and their Princess line.

I think people criticising the article should also actually read the whole article before commenting on it instead of pulling out one sentence and ignoring the rest (which makes some very important points that have been wildly missed in this thread).
posted by fight or flight at 3:23 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I think people criticising the article should also actually read the whole article before commenting on it instead of pulling out one sentence and ignoring the rest (which makes some very important points that have been wildly missed in this thread).

Yes and we could probably all use a walk around the block before coming back to this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:29 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


@MizzusTobias Will Smith slapped a man, and all of a sudden, tons of white women have decided, with absolutely no evidence or reason, that he beats his wife. White women have ALWAYS felt comfortable falsely accusing black folks of shit they didn't do, in an effort to demonize us.

Tiffany Haddish: “Maybe the world might not like how it went down, but for me, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives,” she told People

@msbellows: Idea: since apparently we can't just let the three people involved resolve the Oscar incident among themselves, can we at least agree that given the history of Black men being denied the right to defend Black women from attack, only Black people may have opinions about it?

@karnythia (this is actually a qt): And yet your experience isn't universal nor is this an accurate assessment of their home life about which you know nothing. Your trauma isn't a guidebook for anyone else's relationships. I had fist fights with my abuser & he definitely wasn't protective.

Two different registers are at play here.

I'm neither Black nor white, so maybe this is a "spicy" take?

Oh same, that's why I'm mainly trying to represent what their discourse is actually saying.
posted by cendawanita at 3:30 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


all I'm getting from that article is a bizarre defense of "Will Smith’s incredibly minor slap"; specifically saying that this slap wasn't one of the Oscars ugliest moments; specifically saying that Chris Rock deserved it because of another joke he made 8 years ago; honouring the fact that Will Smith was "protecting black women" (with physical violence). i feel like i took crazy pills before reading this thread and that article.

seriously, what the hell is that? since when do we get to tell abuse survivors what does and what doesn't trigger them?

how does condemning smith lead us to "believing harmful stereotypes about black people"?

also, maybe i just spend less time looking for the worst possible takes on the internet, but i haven't seen a single example of anyone saying that because he hit Chris Rock, Will Smith beats his wife. i'm simply responding to what i saw him actually do. which is wrong. you cannot decry misogynoir by supporting physical violence! which is what that article specifically and brazenly does!

i thought better of that article BEFORE i read it.
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 3:32 PM on March 28 [16 favorites]


but i haven't seen a single example of anyone saying that because he hit Chris Rock, Will Smith beats his wife.

Scroll up in this thread, maybe in the cluster of the 20-odd comments before yours.
posted by cendawanita at 3:34 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


It kind of feels like the discussions that are being had in this thread aren’t necessarily the ones happening on the wider internet today, and that a lot of the disconnect in the conversation is happening because of folks assuming the hot takes here are the same hot takes being hashed out on Twitter.

Unrelatedly: cendawanita, I’m not seeing those comments either. Care to provide a link?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:37 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Can try to click thru the QT from karnythia. That's one example she's responding to.
posted by cendawanita at 3:40 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Oh, a tweet. Sorry, I thought you meant a commenter in this thread.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:43 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Oh in this thread, we've all been good enough to keep it general but it's unmissable that there is a rhetorical thread being made tying Will Smith slapping a man to him showing signs that he's a domestic abuser.
posted by cendawanita at 3:44 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


> rhetorical thread being made tying Will Smith slapping a man to him showing signs that he's a domestic abuser

Maybe that was me? I don't know that Will Smith is an abuser obviously. But this specific type of violence (assaulting someone for making a joke about your woman, and explicitly saying love made you do it) IS a huge red flag indicating a potentially unsafe partner. I would not date someone who does that, I am definitely worried for the physical safety of anyone who dates or partners with someone who does that and says that. This really is textbook. It is not healthy behavior, it's toxic masculinity and patriarchal violence.

(Neither would I date someone who makes the kind of jokes Rock made but, like, at least I wouldn't be worried about physical safety there!)
posted by MiraK at 3:49 PM on March 28 [14 favorites]


glad i'm not a parent with a young kid who looks up to Tiffany Haddish or Will Smith, or having to explain why you can't have an opinion about public assault if you're not the same race as both the victim and the aggressor.

can we all agree that no one is saying Will Smith is a domestic abuser? no one is saying Will Smith is a domestic abuser in here. people are - eloquently and accurately - describing how certain defenses of Will Smith made by other people in this thread echo rather precisely the exact tenor that actual domestic abusers defend themselves with.

i don't know why this is controversial, but it is not valid for your excuse for why you physically assaulted someone else to boil down to "i have less emotional control than a child and never learned to not harm other people even if i thought they deserved it."
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 3:50 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


Like i said, it's Beyonce's Mrs Carter tour era all over again.
posted by cendawanita at 3:52 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Other possible avenues of discussion, via nominees & awardees at oscars. org:

Best Picture: "CODA." Other nominese in this category were "Belfast"; "Don't Look Up"; "Drive My Car"; "Dune"; "King Richard";"Licorice Pizza"; "Nightmare Alley";
"The Power of the Dog"; "West Side Story." As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family's fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her passion at Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents. (imdb.com, with trailer)

Director: Jane Campion won for "The Power of the Dog." Other nominees in this category were Kenneth Branagh, "Belfast"; Ryusuke Hamaguchi, "Drive My Car"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "Licorice Pizza"; Steven Spielberg, "West Side Story." Campion is the first woman to be nominated twice for directing; her win also "marks the first time the directing award has gone to women in back-to-back years, with Chloé Zhao winning last year for 'Nomadland.' Campion is the third woman to win in the category." (AP) (Campion's last feature film, "Bright Star," was released in 2009.)

Actress in a leading role: Jessica Chastain won for "The Eyes of Tammy Faye." Other nominees in category were Olivia Colman, "The Lost Daughter"; Penelope Cruz, "Parallel Mothers"; Nicole Kidman, "Being the Ricardos"; Kristen Stewart, "Spencer." Jessica Chastain Wins Best Actress at Oscars, Calls Out ‘Bigoted’ Legislation (Variety)

Actress in a supporting role: Ariana DeBose won for "West Side Story." Other nominees in category were Jessie Buckley, "The Lost Daughter"; Judi Dench, "Belfast"; Kirsten Dunst, "The Power of the Dog"; Aunjanue Ellis, "King Richard." Sixty years ago, Rita Moreno became the first Latina to win an Oscar, given for the role of Anita in West Side Story. Today, Ariana DeBose won best supporting actress for the same role, becoming part of an elite club of Oscar-winners who've received the accolade for playing the same character. They're the first pair of women ever to accomplish this. DeBose, who is Black, Latina and white, is now the first openly queer woman of color to win for her acting, and the only to be nominated. (NPR)

"Lastly, imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus, look into her eyes: You see a queer, openly queer woman of color, an Afro Latina who found her strength in life through art. And that's what I believe we're here to celebrate. Yeah, so, to anybody who has ever questioned your identity ever, ever, ever, or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: There is indeed a place for us. Thank you to the Academy and thank you all." - DeBose's acceptance speech, with text, at Elle.

Actor in a leading role: Will Smith won for "King Richard." Other nominees in category were Javier Bardem, "Being the Ricardos"; Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Power of the Dog"; Andrew Garfield, "Tick, Tick... Boom!"; Denzel Washington, "The Tragedy of Macbeth."

Actor in a Supporting Role: Troy Kotsur won for "CODA." Other nominees in category were J.K. Simmons, "Being the Ricardos"; Jesse Plemons, "The Power of the Dog"; Kodi Smit-McPhee, "The Power of the Dog"; Ciaran Hinds, "Belfast." Troy Kotsur Makes Oscar History as First Deaf Male Winner (Variety); watch his acceptance speech at vulture; an acceptance speech transcription at rev.com

"Dune" swept production design, sound, original score, visual effects, film editing, and cinematography categories.
"The Eyes of Tammy Faye" won for makeup & hairstyling. (Chastain on the physical and mental effects of wearing that makeup, in The Hollywood Reporter, Aug. 24, 2021)
"Cruella" won for costume design. This was Jenny Beavan’s third Oscar win amid 11 nominations, previously winning for A Room With a View and Mad Mad: Fury Road (THR)
Best international film: "Drive My Car" (Adapted from a Haruki Murakami short story; winner of three prizes at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, including Best Screenplay.)
Best live action short film: "The Long Goodbye."
"Encanto" won for best animated feature; best animated short was "The Windshield Wiper." (Trailer, to admire animation style and artistry)
Best original screenplay went to "Belfast," best adapted screenplay went to "CODA."
Best documentary, short: "The Queen of Basketball" (aka Lusia Harris). Best documentary, feature-length: "Summer of Soul" (Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson's filmmaking debut, the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award.)
Best original song went to "No Time to Die" by siblings Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell. "The filmmakers behind Daniel Craig’s latest turn as James Bond invited artists to submit their best effort at a title song for the iconic opening credits. Eilish and O’Connell, longtime fans of the franchise, recorded their demo on a tour bus between concerts and put their track up for consideration. Eilish said she and Finneas were given a script with only the movie’s opening scene to go on. Having recorded the track at the age of 18, Eilish officially became the youngest-ever recording artist to work on a James Bond theme song." (AP)
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:52 PM on March 28 [13 favorites]


Jenny Beavan did both Fury Road and Cruella? That's range.
posted by praemunire at 3:57 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


I thought CODA was a good movie for tweens. Positive, uplifting, interesting, well paced and put together. Good entertainment for kids—which is a great thing to have in this world. But c'mon... Best Picture? I was rolling my eyes several times during that flick. It was about 1/3rd a Hallmark® movie.
posted by SoberHighland at 3:57 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


*shrug* it was one of the best movies our household has seen in years. We don’t watch a ton of movies, granted, but none of them are freaking Hallmark movies.
posted by obfuscation at 4:02 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I have no evidence that Will Smith is a domestic abuser and I hope to god he isn't. I can see how this incident certainly triggers thoughts about that topic, though. But until such time as there is actual evidence of that happening to Jada, I ain't going there.

I loved CODA, I'm delighted it won actually. I'm so sick of dour intellectual movies winning and instead had a fun, sweet one with tons of dirty sign language.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:04 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I do think the Billie Eilish Bond song is excellent. I'm mystified as to why Encanto's relatively unmemorable "Dos Oruguitas" was selected/submitted for nomination rather than one of the other, inescapable-if-you-have-kids-and-spend-any-time-near-playgrounds songs.
posted by HeroZero at 4:05 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


"The Power of the Dog," "West Side Story," "Belfast," "Dune," and "Licorice Pizza" were all far better films than "CODA"—for many different reasons. (I haven't seen the other nominees). Check 'em out! Good stuff.
posted by SoberHighland at 4:06 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I'm mystified as to why Encanto's relatively unmemorable "Dos Oruguitas" was selected/submitted for nomination rather than one of the other, inescapable-if-you-have-kids-and-spend-any-time-near-playgrounds songs.

I presume it's because Dos Oruguitas is a serious song and Bruno is a fun one and the Academy isn't known for loving fun stuff usually. Before Bruno became a surprise hit, the other probably seemed like a better Oscar fit.
(But seriously, "Surface Pressure" and "Waiting On A Miracle" are amazing and need more love.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:10 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


I was disappointed Kidman didn't win. I thought her performance was uncanny - there were big chunks of time I forgot I wasn't watching the real Lucille Ball.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:46 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


Will Smith’s statement this afternoon on Instagram:

Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.

I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior
has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.

I am a work in progress.

Sincerely,
Will

posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:49 PM on March 28 [10 favorites]


CODA had some good performances and I felt like it was showing me the lives of people I hadn’t seen before. The technical filmmaking was a little weak. Fine but not amazing.

West Side Story was technically dazzling but it’s a story that doesn’t make a lot of sense and some of the performances were better than others.

I thought Power of the Dog was the actual best picture even if it had some plot issues. Like everything from PTA, I couldn’t decide how I felt about Licorice Pizza at first but it has grown on me.

I was surprised that French Dispatch wasn’t at least up for some design or technical awards. Ditto The Green Knight.
posted by jeoc at 4:50 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I don't know how to reconcile my own appetite and comfort with Nazi-punching versus my discomfort with Chris-Rock-slapping.

Easy: one is a member of a hate group that wishes to commit violent atrocities on anyone different. The other is a not-that-great comedian who made a shitty, insulting joke.

I mean, of all the questions one may ask following this event, "is punching Nazis OK?" is the one I'm least worried about.

He's doing a bit. In his comments, his followers are laughing, as he's done stuff similar to this before, claiming he was the casting director for the Mario Bros. movie right after all of the flak hit.

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I suspected the dude was probably lying, otherwise it would have been picked up by other outlets, but I didn't know his history or look at the comments on the article (because for gods sake why would I look at the comments section!?).
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:01 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


maybe off-topic, but when did public opinion about Chris Rock's comedic skills change from "genius" to "mediocre" (seeing a lot of that opinion here and elsewhere in discussion about this incident) ? Not disputing the assessment but just wondering.
posted by bearette at 5:06 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


FWIW, given some of the speculation in this thread, EW is saying:
Chris Rock's joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hair [...] wasn't included in the original script for the ABC telecast, a source close to the situation tells EW.
posted by cheshyre at 5:12 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


bearette: I think Chris Rock is perceived by some, especially those darn millennials and Gen Z folks, as part of a generation of past-their-prime comedians that only old people like. I remember that he and Jerry Seinfeld were two of the more prominent comedians complaining a few years ago about how colleges campuses were getting too uptight and overly sensitive. I think Rock even said he was going to stop playing college shows? Or maybe that was Seinfeld. Anyway, Rock still tours, and I'm sure he makes big money, but it has been a while since he's had a major televised stand-up special. Personally, I've always thought he's better as a comedic actor than a comedian and found his stand-up very hit or miss. But I'm sure at least part of the reaction (at least in this thread, and probably elsewhere) comes from people finding his joke tasteless and offensive, which is often the last ditch effort of a comedian who isn't funny anymore trying to remain relevant by being edgy.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:17 PM on March 28 [6 favorites]


Jenny Beavan did both Fury Road and Cruella? That's range

Jenny Beavan is a treasure. I adore her.

Coda was sweet and uncomplicated in a year when people hungered for sweet and uncomplicated.

But i have no arguments. I was pulling for “drive my car” and “west side story” and, yes, “summer of soul.” Awards-wise, fine. Fiasco-wise? I was yelling at the tv well before the slap
posted by thivaia at 5:28 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


I thought Chris Rock was also really good in season 4 of Fargo, which was by far the most recent time I saw him do anything. I t made me think less about his stand up and whether it has aged poorly.
posted by snofoam at 5:51 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


I was surprised that French Dispatch wasn’t at least up for some design or technical awards. Ditto The Green Knight.

The Green Knight being snubbed is par for the course, as horror rarely gest nominated. No one has ever been nominated for acting in an Ari Aster film. I mean, Toni Collette in Hereditary? Florence Pugh in Midsommar? There are exceptions that prove the rule (Get Out), but by and large horror is invisible to the Academy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:58 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


The Green Knight is in the fantasy genre, and sometimes the Academy likes those movies (LOTR, The Shape of Water, Excalibur...).
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:14 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Anyway, Rock still tours, and I'm sure he makes big money, but it has been a while since he's had a major televised stand-up special.

Tamborine was released on Netflix in 2018, but that only helps prove your overall point. Netflix can't stop throwing money at dudes who were on SNL in 1992.
posted by Gary at 6:31 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Sure is wild to see non-Black folks here not only blithely dismissing the words of Black people, including disabled women, but outright calling them abuse apologists and “not too educated” on the subject of patriarchal violence(?!) All in the name of sticking up for women, but only certain ones, I guess!

When people within a historically marginalized community say, “There’s an important intra-community context to this which outsiders need to keep in mind,” and your response as an outsider is to say, “No there isn’t, and I won’t,” the claims you’re making are twofold: 1) that you understand the community better than people within it; 2) that people within that community are not astute enough enough to distinguish community-specific issues from ones they share with other marginalized communities, and where the two categories overlap. This is not an actual argument. It’s just arrogance. And in this particular context it’s also misogynoir and ableism.

To name only one specific example out of many in this thread, Cpt. The Mango, a white man, declares “you cannot decry misogynoir this way” about an article written by Stitch, a Black non-binary writer who’s endured literal years of harassment and abuse for her anti-racist work, which is particularly focused on misogynoir in fandom and celebrity culture. Who exactly knows more about harm to Black women in this context? How is writing “violence isn’t the best response to misogynoir… but let’s not ignore that misogynoir is violence” the same thing as endorsing physical violence? Maybe consider that rather than Stitch being the one writing without nuance, you are the one stripping nuance from them. Which is ironic considering you’ve claimed in a comment elsewhere that “listening, learning, and following the lead of the people whose fight you're supporting” are important parts of allyship.

Eyebrows McGee and the mod team, I realize this fracas brushes up against a few sensitive topics, but not explicitly and a priori centering Black perspectives, particularly Black disabled women’s, is a mistake.

Anyway, as a disabled Asian woman myself there’s a reason I haven’t been on MeFi as much in the past few years, and I can’t say this thread has given me reason to rethink that. I guess the last thing I’ll say before heading to bed is that the world would be a better place if we spent less time talking over marginalized people from a place of privilege and more time admiring Kelly Marie Tran’s beautiful áo dài.
posted by bettafish at 6:32 PM on March 28 [33 favorites]


Bettafish - you have inadvertently reminded me of the time when my cousin derailed a big all-hands political debate one Thanksgiving by standing up and announcing, "THAT'S IT! No one is allowed to talk about anything else from now on tonight except for CLOTHES AND MAKEUP!" And - it worked.

So in that spirit: dang, Kelly Marie Tran is gorgeous.

And what'd y'all think of Timothee Chalamet's look this year?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:52 PM on March 28


Kind of a TIL and an Ask, but I was curious about the line "I’m being called on in my life ... to be a river to my people." in Will Smith's acceptance speech as I wasn't familiar with the sentiment. The source I found was a line Sheik Auda Abu Tayi* delivered in the movie Lawrence of Arabia alluding to the condition of not accumulating (wealth?) but instead passing along everything that comes to them (my words). youtube clip That movie is 60 years old; anyone have a line on where the saying's been, more contemporary meanings, or those relevant to this invocation?
* I've not determined whether the Sheik ever actually said this.
posted by achrise at 7:00 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


I personally think if you're a gorgeous, thin 26-year-old man, you might as well not wear a shirt to the Oscars. Like when else in your life are you going to be able to do that. So I have zero complaints about Chalamet's look here.

I also loved Kristen Stewart's look so you can take that into account when it comes to my opinion here.
posted by edencosmic at 7:16 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


And what'd y'all think of Timothee Chalamet's look this year?

Well there's like a narrow band of 5-6 years where you can pull that look off and he owned it.

Not to make a big pronouncement but I felt the Oscars this year were a definite shift culturally in what is acceptable at a black tie event. Trey Parker and Matt Stone pulled off a goofy bit, which no one under 35 probably remembers, but for the most part men stuck to the script. Women had a little more creative freedom but outside of Cher and a few others it was mainly twists on the long Prom gown style dresses.

This year felt like finally we're beginning to shed what formalwear means. It is no longer one-offs like Cher or Lady Gaga pulling off bold fashion choices. You have Kristen Stewart going casual and pulling it off. It looked like, broadly, "new old Hollywood" of Nicole Kidman's era stuck to gowns of years past, with the big exception of Jessica Chastain who sort of straddles generations a bit, while the younger set just wore what they wanted to. Sort of like how I went from wearing suits, to just a jacket, to polos, to pajamas and a shirt that looks clean on Zoom meetings.
posted by geoff. at 7:19 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


The Green Knight was so gorgeous it could be its own museum full of paintings, and thematically it’s so far up my alley it should be paying me rent, but the sound design was just so many barrels of fail that after three viewings, one of them spent constantly rewinding to try to figure out what anyone was saying, I’m still not 100% sure what the plot was or what any of the characters were trying to communicate to each other. Subtitles just aren’t workable for me, and they really shouldn’t have to be in a movie that was supposedly filmed in my native language. Rarely have I ever looked forward to something so much only to be quite so disappointed.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:29 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


I personally think if you're a gorgeous, thin 26-year-old man, you might as well not wear a shirt to the Oscars. Like when else in your life are you going to be able to do that. So I have zero complaints about Chalamet's look here. I also loved Kristen Stewart's look so you can take that into account when it comes to my opinion here.

I think one of the red carpet interviewers actually said they wanted to get a picture of Timmy and Kristin posing together.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


That movie is 60 years old; anyone have a line on where the saying's been, more contemporary meanings, or those relevant to this invocation?

I said it recently when I bought ice cream for my nieces and nephews and sometimes when I buy a round of drinks. It's a famous line from a very famous movie. Will Smith is in his 50s and has been working in Hollywood for 30 years, he's probably familiar with the canon.

But it does look like he's been using this line for a while. I found this 2015 article in Esquire. I don't subscribe to Esquire, but it's likely he talks about what it means to him in there.

I Am a River to My People
Will Smith says those words at the end of a conversation in which the forty-six-year-old talks about basketball, his kids, his new film Focus, Hugh Jackman’s body fat, chronic dissatisfaction, and, yes, how a river represents his highest aspiration
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:11 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


I’m liking the more daring mens fashion choices these days. Plunging neckline, velvet, rose embroidery, like give me eye candy, give me swan dresses, take risks people
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:15 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]




"The Rose goes in the front big guy..."
posted by Windopaene at 8:35 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


My basic take on The Green Knight (granted, it has been months since I watched it, so some of the fine points may be off) is that it dramatizes the conflict between values that occurs when a martial, honor-based feudal culture merges with a religious culture based (at least nominally) on peace and forgiveness -- Christianity*. The opening sequence is Gawain's dream of the ancient epics -- the characters are identified as Paris and Helen in the credits, the destruction around them suggesting he's dreaming of the fall of Troy, maybe from the Aeneid, the great poem of Imperial Rome. He wakes up into a world less heroic and dirtier than his dreams, but at least it's not all on fire.

The world he's in is the ruins of the Empire. The countryside Gawain travels through is marked by ruins, dead soldiers, isolated wildlings. Despite their pretensions, all the nobility here are a bit (or more) grimy, the king & queen wasting away; everything's a pale imitation of the glory of Rome, but it is still impressive. And there's this thing called Christianity they are also sort of doing. The main character is the flawed, familiar, relatable every-person, who sort of tries to do what he thinks he is supposed to do and pretty much always fails, as in his first test with the Green Knight, when he has the choice of proving his power by killing the knight and also violating the spirit of the game anyway, or treating others as he would be treated and extending kindness to the Knight by embracing him rather than striking him (or striking him lightly, or whatever -- just something less than actually injuring the dude). His gamble fails, though, when the Knight lives and he has the prospect of being on the receiving end of a beheading.

But a year's a long time, so fuck it let's take advantage of my fame and party and hope that it's all going to work out somehow. When he finally sets out, he has sort of good intentions, but he only partially learns from the past, and after each fail he half-assedly applies what little he figured out too late and in the wrong situations. Until, of course, the very end when he finally gets the stakes of it all and makes the right decision. His vision is a variation on Christ's temptation, but he also gets the benefit of seeing how it will all end -- power and glory, and violent death of everything and everyone you love. So maybe the decision was partly out of despair or fear, or for not wholly pure reasons (because who's pure?), but he still gets forgiven when the Knight metaphorically turns the other cheek and treats Gawain as Gawain should have treated him at the start.

Now, this doesn't get into a lot of other elements, including the whole framing aspect of his mother's apparent instigating of the entire thing, but that's what I think the core narrative very effectively demonstrates -- and it really is a very medieval theme.

*My reading of this film as a "Christian" film owes a lot to this article about Lynch's Blue Velvet as a Christian film
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:22 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


(sorry I wrote "Christian" and "film" so much in that last line)
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:23 PM on March 28


I Am a River to My People

Having just finished Urinetown, I now laugh at river references.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:50 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


It might seem obvious to you & me that Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at The Oscars but Merrick Garland is going to need at least 15 months to review the evidence. -- John Fugelsang
posted by valkane at 10:13 PM on March 28






Always interesting to see where people's morals diverge from mine on Metafilter.

Maybe I'm just fucking tired, but I'm 100% at the point where I believe that a single measured smack is an appropriate response to an intentional and malicious microaggression


At UC Berkeley in the early 2000's, there was a homeless hippie on Sproul Plaza who became kind of a local Socrates figure. The student newspaper wrote about him and his bio, and one story I remembered from the article was that he tried to come up with this hippie-philosophical practice of gently pushing someone if you were very upset with them for mistreating you. Not that I'd recommend trying that these days, though.
posted by polymodus at 11:50 PM on March 28


The Green Knight is such a cool movie. I had an edible beforehand and was pretty high for the whole experience, but it definitely fit the vibe, and the movie has only improved for me the longer I have to mull it over. If I have to be honest, it has taken up much more rent-free space in my head than Power of the Dog, as cool as that movie also is.
posted by cakelite at 11:52 PM on March 28


I saw the stream in Australia with the swearing but it cut out right at the start of Questlove speaking so I missed all of that, which is annoying. I mean, apart from everything else, it made everything afterwards really .. awkward?
posted by h00py at 12:50 AM on March 29


Hey, here's various TikTok comments from black people about various aspects of the slap. This collection of comments is pointed directly at people who feel this isn't about race or it's just a joke. Please check out the links and consider how many (but not all) black people think about the intersection of hair, culture, and relationships.

You do not have to agree with these views, but just recognize the feelings and thoughts of black people on the mater.

If you only have time for one comment, I'd highly recommend the last one, which includes a comment by Roger Wilkins, a black civil rights activist and journalist, along with a note about the Crown act, which is seeking to end discrimination against black hair.

Yes, there is actual legislation, passed by the US House of Representatives, that seeks to protect black women for their hair styles. If it surprises you than a law is needed to protect black women and their hair, you may not be as informed on these issues as you think.

Why white folks should be mindful of their comments about the Smith/Rock situation

Black nuance thoughts

About using hypotheticals to make a point

On ableism and misogynoir

About a comment made by the Prime video account and Zoe Kravitz and Nicole Kidman, illustrating general racial cluelessness

On decorum and being polite.

Why this is a black community conversation.

On black comedians punching down on disabilities.

Handling this internally within the Black community

On respectability politics.

On meeting violence with violence.

About "violence isn't the answer"

When "violence isn't the answer" is very selective.

Yeah, again about that selective treatment of violence.

Fine, violence isn't the answer FOR YOU

Talk shit, get hit

Will Smith is not just your friendly uncle.

What has turning the other cheek accomplished?

Defending crossed lines

Roger Wilkins on what black power means, along with a note about the Crown Act.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:38 AM on March 29 [48 favorites]


I guess we can't help ourselves with having Opinions.. and I'm not sure there is any way to be healthy about this, it's primarily Celebrity Culture here, on display, and the way we engage with that culture. I appreciate the information shared on Black Women and hair loss, but I absolutely refute that making this about Blackness is the crucial thing here. This is the Oscars, it's all about an industry that wants to capture our gaze and hold it. Jada and Will Smith, Chris Rock.. they exist in a pantheon of entertainers and media personalities who are far beyond naivete when it comes to The Deal with fame.

If we made a list of really shitty jokes made at the Oscar ceremonies over the years, that singled out individuals in a display of very public humiliation, how long would that list be? At what point is simply engaging with this industry and the spectacle, making us all complicit in it? And yet I can't think of a time (when I still watched this nonsense) where a man strode up and applied a forceful blow to another man, etc. At the Oscars.

A pox on all of us.
posted by elkevelvet at 9:01 AM on March 29 [10 favorites]


Will Smith wasn't punching — er, slapping — up, was he? I can't imagine anybody who's part of the group "funny people who get picked to host the Oscars" being "up" in relation to the assembled glitterati in the audience.
posted by emelenjr at 9:03 AM on March 29


Thank you Brandon Blatcher. I did have a lot to say on the matter but it seems most of the conversation has already been had and those links you've posted are an education for those who think they're already educated enough.

I was so enraged by Chris Rock being an utter misogynistic piece of trash that I was arguing with people (on other platforms), late into the night who kept on with their "it's not about race" bs. Quite frankly, I'm now too exhausted to be fighting on the Internet with people.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 9:05 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


Dune was the only movie I saw in the theater in the last year. Was there really no better soundtrack than Dune's? In the theater I was in, the music was loud and intrusive and distracting.
posted by creepygirl at 9:11 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Today I’m seeing people on other sites pretending that A. Chris had no choice but to read every word that was written for him, and B. he was COMPLIMENTING Jada by comparing her to “the strong, sexy, beautiful badass” Moore played in G.I. Jane.

A big star like Chris absolutely has the freedom to use his own judgment on whether to use or skip any one given joke out of the pile that were written for his use.

G.I. Jane was a commercial and critical flop that nearly destroyed Moore’s career, and she was relentlessly and mercilessly mocked for both the movie and for the way she looked in it. It was as much of a punchline as Kevin Costner in Waterworld, if not more so.

I don’t know if these people are simply trolling, or if they just can’t accept the premise that it’s not cool to hit someone even if they’re not behaving like a perfect little cinnamon roll.

And if this “formal review” results in Smith losing his award while Polanski gets to keep his, I’ll have a really tough time believing race isn’t a huge factor.

Anyway, I think this year is my record low for having seen all the major-category-nominated films. Back in my twenties, I usually saw most of them, but I don't think I saw more than two this year.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:22 AM on March 29 [11 favorites]


Chris had no choice but to read every word that was written for him

My understanding is that the joke was not in the script, it was off the cuff. Not confirmed by Rock, so who knows.

Dune was the only movie I saw in the theater in the last year. Was there really no better soundtrack than Dune's? In the theater I was in, the music was loud and intrusive and distracting.

The first time I watched, the sound was awful, but then I watched it again on a laptop with good headphones and I found the soundtrack really wonderful. This video with Hans Zimmer and some of the members of his team nerds out of some of the unique instruments used in the production.
posted by gwint at 11:14 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


Kareem Adbul-Jabbar weighs in.: "From everything I’d seen of Pinkett Smith over the years, she’s a very capable, tough, smart woman who can single-handedly take on a lame joke at the Academy Awards show."
posted by Clustercuss at 11:18 AM on March 29 [21 favorites]


The Dune soundtrack is fantastic and meant to be, I think, quasi-oppressive, as with the visuals. It's true that the dialogue mix isn't great. If I hadn't remembered the gist of a lot of lines from the book, I'd have been more lost.
posted by praemunire at 11:24 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


I thought Roxane Gay's column on the incident was really good.
posted by praemunire at 11:59 AM on March 29 [9 favorites]


I didn't mind the Dune soundtrack because I watched it at home at home with subtitles. I have a hard time distinguishing speech when there is a lot of other noise going on. Both in film or just at a gathering with a lot of people talking to each other. Someone can be talking directly to me but if I hear little bits of noise from everyone else around I can't focus on what they're saying and often default to just a smile or nod pretending I heard. I'd honestly love if theaters did more showings with subtitles because I love to go to the theater. I worked in a theater for about five years. But my ears aren't what they were then. So even for a movie like Dune where I'd want to see it on a big screen I can't or else I'll have no idea what's going on.
posted by downtohisturtles at 12:18 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


I thought Roxane Gay's column on the incident was really good.

Non paywall link to the Roxane Gay column
posted by Roommate at 12:21 PM on March 29 [10 favorites]


polymodus, was that Stoney Burke?
posted by brainwane at 12:32 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Loved, loved the Dune soundtrack. I also agree that the film's sound mix was bad, and much of the dialog was lost. I don't know if the problem was the theater (we saw it in a pretty nice theater, but who knows?) or the shipped data files that the theater played. But it was a problem.

I knew the general story and many of the weird names, so I got the jist of what was going on. My wife did not have Dune knowledge, so a lot of it was muddled gibberish for her (and she has MUCH better hearing than I have). She loved the film anyway. We watched it again on HBO Max with subtitles and it clicked a lot better for her particularly, but clicked better for me as well.

I think we're gonna watch it again! My biggest issue with the movie was that Arrakis didn't look bright and harsh enough. I know they didn't want to blow audiences' eyes out with hot white light, but the movie even had people walking around outside like it was Palm Springs or something. Come on... that desert is supposed to be debilitatingly harsh, more than any desert here on planet Earth. And I know you gotta see the actors faces so they can act... but no one even wore sunglasses!
posted by SoberHighland at 1:10 PM on March 29 [4 favorites]


I loved Dune but let's be honest: from a design perspective they had to make a lot of obviously wrong choices because Hollywood. There is no way still suits wouldn't have head pieces to collect all that sweat that you sweat out of your head.
posted by nushustu at 2:25 PM on March 29 [6 favorites]


I think we're gonna watch it again! My biggest issue with the movie was that Arrakis didn't look bright and harsh enough.

There is no way still suits wouldn't have head pieces to collect all that sweat that you sweat out of your head.

Dune definitely didn't look hot enough. Needed more sweat, more heat waves. Still loved the movie tho.
posted by ishmael at 3:32 PM on March 29


Not sure this got linked already by this gq profile on smith has interesting nuance here. Family of domestic violence.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 3:35 PM on March 29




Family of domestic violence.

Yep. He has always spoken about his father's treatment of his mother and how much guilt and cowardice he felt for doing nothing while she was getting beaten up.

One of the first things that came to mind when I saw the Oscars was how it was a miniature version of his childhood home but that this time, he had power and he wasn't about to sit back and watch a man humiliate a woman he loves once again. That is a reaction to PTSD.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 4:07 PM on March 29 [7 favorites]


That is a reaction to PTSD.

It's just a shame that his reaction was physical. Plenty of people have trauma responses that don't manifest as assault. I feel for him, given his background. I can't imagine what all that feels like when you're in that room with that spotlight on you. But this is how the cycle of violence perpetuates - physical violence can beget physical violence. And I don't believe this is the first time Smith has ever hit someone he disagreed with.
posted by crossoverman at 4:14 PM on March 29 [6 favorites]


And I don't believe this is the first time Smith has ever hit someone he disagreed with.

Curious, can you point to other times?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:21 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Dr. William Lopez @lopez_wd
No one:
Me: 2022 Oscar Outfits as Public Health Graphs

This twitter thread will delight you.
posted by theora55 at 4:42 PM on March 29 [4 favorites]


Mod note: Deleted a super-gross (and obviously racist) Daily Mail link. If it's important/legit, there will be better links.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:28 PM on March 29 [2 favorites]


I just want to note, for the record of this thread, not even Kareem Abdul Jabbar, linked above, who found the act "a bad thing" and noted how it can set a bad example to young black men on conflict resolution, went on to insinuate Will Smith must then be someone who goes around knocking people out. Please, as a non-black american myself, just let's follow their lead on this, ok?

At least the last time i felt my community's mode of discourse was being dismissed here it's just for a silly Disney movie (Raya).

Speaking of the Oscars and Disney, i thought it interesting my D+ (regionally brought here by India's Hotstar so I'm not properly getting D+ even) have a full array of the nominated movies including Netflix and HBO Max (well, HBO Go here) exclusives. I think the same in Australia (per friend's self-report) but i wonder if it's the same elsewhere.
posted by cendawanita at 5:34 PM on March 29 [2 favorites]


Sorry, the mods say no.

In a comment just before yours, the mods specifically said 'no' to "a super-gross (and obviously racist) Daily Mail link". A person could always find another link that references that particular story if they so choose.

There is video of Smith slapping someone on the red carpet in Moscow back in 2012, at a premiere of Men in Black III. But that person was a known "prankster" who assaulted him and is known for assaulting celebrities so I wouldn't say it counts as anything.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:57 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Feel free to google “will smith 1989 arrest”.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:04 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


I'm not interested in painting Will Smith as someone with a history of abuse either. What I'm definitely interested in is asserting unequivocally that he perpetrated toxic patriarchal violence.

BTW, I can appreciate and respect that Black Americans have a different reaction to the incident than I do. It holds a different resonance for some Black women, because they're reacting more strongly to some aspects of this incident which hold no special significance to the rest of us. And that's valid. They are absolutely allowed to feel seen and validated by this public display of support for his Black wife from a Black American husband.

1. What Will Smith was communicating to the world in that moment was this wonderful thing which Black American women have always needed and wanted.

2. The language he used to communicate it was the language of toxic masculinity and patriarchal violence.

Both are true at the same time, and both are worth commenting on. The two aren't mutually exclusive. There's room for both ideas.

What I cannot support, even if it comes from Black women, is the idea that (2) is not to be spoken of, that (2) is to be excused or ignored or minimized or condoned, or worst of all, that (2) is none of our business if we aren't Black.
> Article: The Will Smith & Chris Rock Slap Situation Is Not About You
NOPE. (2) is our concern even if we aren't Black, and it is about all of us.

There's an excellent argument to be made that discussions of (2) shouldn't suck up all the air and drown out (1). But nobody should be saying the whole incident is relevant to Black people only, or allege that it's racist for anyone who isn't Black to talk about (2) at all.

> But the unintersectional feminists couldn't see it until the whole tiresome thing had to be hashed out in mixed company for months.

This comment gave me pause when you made it way upthread, cendawanita, because you're using the word "intersectionality" to mean the opposite of what it means. An intersection is the part where multiple circles of identity overlap. But to argue that "This has nothing to do with y'all!!!" is to argue for ZERO OVERLAP, for separate bubbles. Black people don't exist in a separate bubble from the rest of society though! Their celebrities' patriarchal violence affects us all. ANYONE'S vocal support for & celebration of patriarchal violence affects us all. It's not okay for Teen Vogue to be celebrating that violence and calling it love! It's not okay for the audience at the Oscars to give Will Smith TWO standing ovations after what he did.

I'll be the first to shout everyone down to make room for Black women and Black people who talk about (1) without celebrating (2), but I don't see commentators who have gotten there yet.
posted by MiraK at 6:18 PM on March 29 [21 favorites]


I don't want to repeat myself, so just: ok.
posted by cendawanita at 6:23 PM on March 29 [6 favorites]


There are links to Black women discussing both those points in this thread, if you're interested - Amanda Parris, Roxane Gay and again (Roxane Gay without paywall), Soraya Nadia McDonald, for a selection.

There's a wide variety of voices available to reflect on; no need to shout anyone down. No one is getting an Oscar for Best Take.

What there should be a new Oscar for is Best Adapted Performance argues Stephen Thompson of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. I think reading the (pretty short) article at the link is worth it, but to summarize, he argues that impersonating a real person and creating a fictional character are different skill sets, and the acting categories should be expanded to reflect that. I think it's a decent idea, and I would prefer another award category or two to whatever that "cheer moment" was.
posted by the primroses were over at 8:03 PM on March 29 [9 favorites]


Thank you for the links.

I seem to have typed the word commentator when I meant to say commenter (as in, commenters in this thread). I ended up accidentally suggesting that nobody out there on the internet is reckoning with both. Yikes. Apologies.
posted by MiraK at 8:28 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, I just watched 'Summer of Soul'. Questlove so deserved that win. What an incredible film!
posted by h00py at 8:54 PM on March 29 [6 favorites]


Summer of Soul was really good. But I wish they hadn't truncated so many of the performances in favor of interviews. Some of the interviews were really great! But I wanted to see more of Stevie Wonder, dammit. Other performers, too.
posted by SoberHighland at 9:05 PM on March 29 [2 favorites]


I don’t know if it’s possible but a follow up to summer of soul as a straight concert film rather than a documentary would be amazing.
posted by Wood at 9:14 PM on March 29 [7 favorites]


What I cannot support, even if it comes from Black women, is the idea that (2) is not to be spoken of, that (2) is to be excused or ignored or minimized or condoned, or worst of all, that (2) is none of our business if we aren't Black.

I'll be the first to shout everyone down to make room for Black women and Black people who talk about (1) without celebrating (2), but I don't see commentators who have gotten there yet.

Nobody here is celebrating (2). Where are you seeing that? Emphasising the importance of black women's experiences doesn't equate to a celebration of violence. That's quite a reach.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 9:38 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Nobody here is celebrating (2)

I’m guessing you haven’t made it through Brandon Blatcher’s tiktok reading list.
posted by Wood at 9:43 PM on March 29 [4 favorites]


Yes Summer of Soul was fantastic. I expected something like Woodstock but instead of damn dirty unwashed hippies with bare chests, dandelions and corduroy, we saw families having picnics, kids playing with balloons and aunties relaxing in sunglasses, all having a nice day out in the park! It was far more wholesome. Great music but I was more interested in the audience than what was going on musically.

I love hippies, despite what I said and Woodstock seemed exciting (it's more my music taste), but I don't think "I wish I could have been there". When white people do past-cultural-event-nostalgia, black people often can't indulge in that nostalgia because we're thinking "would I have been safe?" Summer of Soul is possibly one of the first times I've experienced nostalgia for an event that I could have actually (safely) been a part of.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 10:03 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


I’m guessing you haven’t made it through Brandon Blatcher’s tiktok reading list.

I should have included MiraK's follow up comment:

I seem to have typed the word commentator when I meant to say commenter (as in, commenters in this thread).

Nobody in the thread is celebrating violence.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 10:08 PM on March 29


polymodus, was that Stoney Burke?

brainwane, you prompted me to google a bit and I'm guessing the one I had read about was Hate Man. I may have misremembered some of the details, heh.
posted by polymodus at 1:50 AM on March 30


polymodus: no prob.... thanks for jogging my memories!
posted by brainwane at 4:33 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


I'm actually following Terrell Jermaine Starr for his Ukraine coverage and just to go over the different registers at play here, while he also disagreed with Smith's actions he was also extremely not for those who don't have the fluency to grasp the layers, e.g: It is not that white/non-Black people can't engage the Rock/Jada/Will convo. It is *how* many choose to engage. And if folks don't know the difference, I don't have time to explain it to folks.

Anyway, he shared Karen Attiah's WashPo opinion piece, and I'm copying below:


Publicly defending Black women in America remains an extreme sport.

At the Oscars on Sunday, comedian Chris Rock decided to poke fun at actress and talk show host Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, joking that he “can’t wait” for “G.I. Jane 2.” It was a reference to the close military cut sported by Demi Moore in the 1997 film, and Rock’s joke landed sideways in more ways than one. The audience laughed halfheartedly — seriously, a 25-year-old movie? — while Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes in utter annoyance. Meanwhile, after first laughing, Pinkett Smith’s husband, Will Smith, walked onstage, wound up and landed an openhanded blow to Rock’s face. “Keep my wife’s name out of your f---ing mouth!” the soon-to-be winner for best actor shouted once he returned to his seat.

Rock’s jaw remained intact — Smith’s strike was more gentleman’s slap than punch — but the drama fractured the Internet into thousands of pieces.

Opinions about the slap heard ’round the world are still evolving, but so far reactions have divided along lines of race, gender and class. Some see the moment as an example of toxic masculinity and male violence being justified as protection or love — a warning sign of domestic abuse. Others, pointing to Pinkett Smith’s alopecia, focus more on the provocation of Rock’s joke, viewing it as an ableist jab at a woman with a medical condition.

The joke was stupid, but Smith’s slap was over the top and uncalled for. No one wins when unjustified and disproportionate male violence makes an appearance. But other power dynamics were at play. It’s impossible not to notice that Smith attacked a smaller Black man. In the same situation, would he have taken the risk of slapping a larger, stronger guy, or a powerful White male celebrity who had made the same joke? I doubt it. And would Smith have gotten away with it — the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday it is investigating — if he hadn’t spent decades cultivating a nonthreatening, squeaky-clean image? I doubt that, too.

What is undoubtedly true is that Hollywood loves to profit from showing the pain of Black women. Recall Rock’s 2009 documentary, “Good Hair,” supposedly made to document the industry of Black women’s hair care but full of jokes at our expense. And how many Black women haven’t at some point wanted to slap someone for petting our hair? Or for calling our hair “unprofessional”? Or for making fun of us for wearing wigs or relaxers?

Some feminists have argued that Will “took away Jada’s power” in rushing to confront Rock. That’s not true here, either. Pinkett Smith is a successful, talented, powerful woman, but in that moment, how could she have accessed any of that?

It is simply our social reality that Black women are the butt of endless cultural jokes, that we experience high levels of online abuse and domestic violence. Plus, a Black woman who forcefully defends herself will earn the label “aggressive” for her effort, especially in White spaces. These labelers are the same folks who will watch a Black woman being demeaned and later praise her restraint. Or worse yet, her discomfort will be made into a meme. If you’re online at all, then you have seen tennis champion Venus Williams’s face after hearing the White movie director Jane Campion make the weird and dismissive claim at the Critics Choice Awards earlier this month that her own path was tougher because the world-champion Williams sisters don’t have to compete with men like she does.

Which brings me to Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Defending Black women’s honor happens so rarely that when it does, it’s newsworthy. Last week, after receiving patronizing and frankly racist treatment by GOP lawmakers, Jackson was moved to tears when Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) simply acknowledged her humanity. “You got here how every Black woman in America who’s gotten anywhere has done,” he said. “By being, like Ginger Rogers said, ‘I did everything Fred Astaire did, but backward, in heels.’”

Booker’s words were moving, but so much harm had already been done. Over hours of hearings, no one directly shamed the lawmakers and stopped them from engaging in ridiculous, insulting questions. Instead, we got fawning coverage about Booker’s speech — and, yes, talk about how KBJ persevered with grace and resilience in the face of indignities.

On Monday evening, Smith apologized for his behavior. We will see what, if anything, Pinkett Smith will have to say about her husband after the Oscars mess he caused. But we need new options in this culture. The choice for protecting Black women shouldn’t be between male violence and everyone else’s silence. When it comes to defending Black women, America is still stuck on stupid.



Jada Pinkett Smith actually also issued a statement today
posted by cendawanita at 6:27 AM on March 30 [14 favorites]


The wildest part of all this is that Will Smith was not ushered out of the auditorium after punching/slapping a guy for telling jokes on stage. Any night at any comedy club, had this happened?

The perpetrator would have been kicked out and the cops would have been called. Smith committed battery in a public place on live television. Then a half hour later, he won an award and got a standing ovation. Absolutely shameful on Smith's part, and on the part of the producers of this dumb, supposedly fun teevee show.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:05 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


I'm actually following Terrell Jermaine Starr for his Ukraine coverage and just to go over the different registers at play here, while he also disagreed with Smith's actions he was also extremely not for those who don't have the fluency to grasp the layers, e.g: It is not that white/non-Black people can't engage the Rock/Jada/Will convo. It is *how* many choose to engage. And if folks don't know the difference, I don't have time to explain it to folks.

Anyway, he shared Karen Attiah's WashPo opinion piece, and I'm copying below:


Thanks for that WashPo link. It's probably the best editorial summation of the matter I've seen so far, all the better in my opinion because it came from a Black woman.

Unfortunately, I think parts of this thread are another demonstration of how MetaFilter generally doesn't do well with discussion of Black issues, even with the guidance of one of its more vocal Black members. However, I appreciate everyone's attempts to understand the cultural nuances of Chris/Jada/Will incident, some of which may be alien to one's own experiences and viewpoints.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:58 AM on March 30 [5 favorites]


As a guy who had his jaw broken in two places from a single hit from a not big person (who maybe had a roll of dimes in his hand), I find this whole conversation very... upsetting. This line in particular from an article really has put me in a state.

Rock’s jaw remained intact — Smith’s strike was more gentleman’s slap than punch — but the drama fractured the Internet into thousands of pieces.

I didn't know I was still carrying around all these feelings 15 years later. Not a fan of being punched. I guess the trauma from my assault is still there. I am a white man so I will now shut up.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:06 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


The wildest part of all this is that Will Smith was not ushered out of the auditorium after punching/slapping a guy for telling jokes on stage.

There's been a couple things I've seen in the press speaking to this - apparently the various Academy members who could have made this call were scattered throughout the room and were just as gobsmacked by the whole situation as everyone else, and by the time everyone recovered and rounded up into a huddle to discuss "should we kick him out", he was already up on stage making his Best Actor acceptance speech.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:39 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


That's 100% irresponsible. This event had security guards! What the hell are the security guards there for? And I think I read it was about 40 minutes between the punch and the Smith's award acceptance.

Fifteen minutes to make this call? Twenty five minutes to make this call? Ludicrous. This wasn't an amateur production/event. Had this have happened in any comedy club, any Bat Mitzvah, any wedding, any pub, any ballgame... The guy who threw the punch would have been escorted out immediately and the cops called. It's basic security and common sense and it's basic fairness and decency. "The Academy" is a disgrace, as is Will Smith.

I'm done with the Oscars after this. I enjoyed the show in years past and would usually watch at least parts of it. No more.
posted by SoberHighland at 8:49 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


This event had security guards! What the hell are the security guards there for?

They are there for the riff raff who might attack or just bother the movie royalty.

No one expected the problem to be coming from the royalty. “One of us is the problem?! No one trained for that, what do we do?!”
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:13 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


apparently the various Academy members who could have made this call were scattered throughout the room

This is not an explanation that holds even the tiniest bit of water.

You cannot tell me that if a random protester had run up on stage and hit a presenter that security would have felt the need to confer with members of the Academy about what to do. This is a room full of wealthy, influential people, the kinds of people who have personal security staff and are used to the possibility of being stalked, attacked, etc.

The idea that somehow the security staff didn't know what to do in the case of an assault is ludicrous.

This is why I find so much of the attempt to form ranks around Will Smith so infuriating. Yes, Chris Rock is an asshole. Yes, he should have been excoriated for what he did. But Will Smith went up on stage and battered a person in a room full of people, and because he's rich and famous they then all pretended like this was totally normal.

This is a textbook example of wealth and status conferring the ability to do whatever the fuck you want, up to and including violence. No amount of articles proclaiming that actually this was Will showing his love, or that we should ignore it because otherwise I guess we're not taking Rock's action seriously (as if we can't do both at once?) are going to change that.
posted by a faithful sock at 9:17 AM on March 30 [13 favorites]


I didn't know I was still carrying around all these feelings 15 years later. Not a fan of being punched. I guess the trauma from my assault is still there. I am a white man so I will now shut up.

I’m sorry you had that experience and the articles are triggering you. Please seek some help and support and feel free to add whatever you like to this thread. You brought up a great point about how long the emotional aftermath of an assault can linger, thank you for that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:18 AM on March 30 [6 favorites]


Royalty is allowed to do what they like, obviously. Think of the optics of hauling Will away just before he gets an Oscar. That would have had EVEN MORE EXPLODING DRAMA for denying him the Oscar. They're gonna pass it to him in the parking lot after the show? Of course not. How many "how dare you deny a black man his Oscar?" think pieces would have gone up? We'd have three huge controversies (the insult, the slap, and the police) instead of two.

I'm amused at someone pointing out that Chris Rock Macbeth cursed himself.

Both of them will be fine careerwise. This won't hurt anything for either of them. Will will be handing out an award next year after, I dunno, having to take an anger management class or something.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:28 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


The British satirical magazine Private Eye has already adapted the Smith/Rock moment to poke fun at UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak*. Bottom right image here. This is print, not digital, and the magazine's already in shops, so that happened fast. It's a measure of just how much of a meme that Oscars moment is likely to become.

* Sunak's a rich man in his own right and his heiress wife is even richer. These facts are often cited as evidence he can't imagine what it's like to be among Britain's poor.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:30 AM on March 30


Well, thanks to this brouhaha, I gotten to see on this amusing headline on my phone:

Will Smith's apology to Chris Rock is a Master Class in Emotional Intelligence.


Which gave a whole new and additional meaning to the phrase begging the question.
posted by y2karl at 9:31 AM on March 30 [5 favorites]


Meh, they should have cut to commercial after the punch/slap. Then respectfully ushered Smith out of the theater. They most certainly have contingencies for extended delays in live events like this (especially multi-million dollar events) where they could run an extra block of commercials or pre-taped stuff while Smith was bounced. In short, they could have killed time and ejected him without any of it on camera.

Upon returning live, the producers should have scrambled to make a direct apology to the audience, violence cannot be tolerated, etc. Then go on with the show. Smith could still win the award, but he should not have been in the theater anymore. Lots of people receive awards without attending.

Would it have been odd and uncomfortable? Yes. But it was far more odd, uncomfortable, amateurish, cowardly, enraging and downright shameful to let him sit there for the rest of the show after committing battery... only to get on stage and make a tearful acceptance speech to a fucking standing ovation.

OK, I'm done. But yes, this is a textbook case of a person with wealth and power getting special treatment because money talks. Show business. Smith punched a guy during a workplace event, FFS!
posted by SoberHighland at 9:52 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


Was there really no better soundtrack than Dune's? In the theater I was in, the music was loud and intrusive and distracting.

I watched it at home and also found the soundtrack really bothersome. Way too loud at some moments, totally absent at other crucial scenes.

But I had a lot of problems with Dune overall. Except for Lady Jessica, the characters felt like hollow statues making speeches, which in turn made Rebecca Ferguson's performance seem almost unhinged in comparison. Everything was filmed like an epic landscape (and the colors were way too washed out), including close-ups on the characters. There was no intimacy, even in supposedly quiet, intimate scenes. Really, the characters were just dull -- OK, Stilgar was pretty cool because Bardem made him seem like a real person, but almost everyone else was boooooring. Total waste of David Dastmalchian (or David Dalmatian as I like to call him) as Piter De Vries, who had almost nothing to do in the story, until he gets killed.

And can we talk about Dr. Yueh? In the novel (and the Lynch version), the Atreides suspect that there's a traitor in their midst -- Thufir Hawat (among others) thinks that it is Lady Jessica, but Leto trusts her completely. No one, however, suspects Dr. Yueh because of his supposedly unbreakable Imperial Conditioning. However in the new film, they cut out the whole search for the double agent plot and never mention anything about Yueh's conditioning, so his betrayal comes out of nowhere. It comes off, to me at least, as "Of course it was the inscrutable Asian man with his mysterious exotic ways!" Seemed more than a wee bit gross.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:18 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Chrissie's take - This Does Not Symbolize Protection for All Black Women

Cynthia G's take - Will Smith Puts The Paws 🐾 On Chris Rock At The Oscars In Defense Of Black Women?

Both women are always very vocal about the treatment of black women within the black community.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 10:19 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


Smith punched a guy during a workplace event, FFS!

I wish people would stop saying that he "punched" Rock.

I am thoroughly on the same page in terms of describing it as assault, and that Smith was in the wrong, but a "punch" is a clear escalation from "slap".

Perhaps clarify it with a modifier? A "hard slap", a "full-force slap" maybe?

I also agree that intense slaps can be dangerous, having experienced it personally (being slapped and having my nose bleed).

Recently, there has been a spate of "events" (always in a sensational format) called "slapfights" or some variant of that, where two men take turns slapping each other, with the intent to knock the other person out.
posted by ishmael at 10:30 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure the only reason Dune was nominated for Best Picture was because it was a big budget thing that lured people back into theaters. I thought it was good, just not "Best Picture" good; also, it's a Space Opera, and I've always seen the Academy give those kinds of things short shrift. I was pretty sure it was going to clean up in the technical categories, though, and that tracked.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:31 AM on March 30


Big "it's not an kill list, it's a Disposition Matrix" energy from the slap v. punch comments
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 10:37 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


Elaine May got an honorary Oscar!!!!!! I love this and hope that it might prefigure a renaissance of interest in her films! Ishtar is a good film that got slammed by circumstance and it would be awesome if more people took an evening to check it out.

As of 2019 it looks like she may be out of movie jail and going to direct something called "Crackpot" starring Dakota Johnson? Hope that can still happen....
posted by brainwane at 10:37 AM on March 30 [5 favorites]


but a "punch" is a clear escalation from "slap"

Since this keeps being brought up: Why does it matter? If you want to argue that a slap would be fine while a punch wouldn’t, why not argue that actual point? Arguing semantics for the heck of it comes across as “Just Asking Questions”-style bloviation, unless there’s really a point being made by these calls for more precise language.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:39 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


Re: the danger of slaps

I read a blog post a couple years ago by a stage combat choreographer who claimed that face slaps are the #1 cause of actor injuries and hospital visits, more so than any other type of onstage fight move/stunt. Many reasons behind it: aim may be off and someone gets hit in the eye or the eardrum bursts, or the person getting slapped moves their head differently resulting in the same; an actor forgets to take off a ring before the show and it gouges the other person in the face; an actor is in a bad mood, stressed from regular performances, or even mad at the other actor and uses full force; the person getting slapped might be ill or have some sort of neurological condition; etc. etc. Also I would imagine that slaps are probably the most common form of staged violence -- much more so than sword fights or fisticuffs -- and they can easily be added to any script where people get into a heated argument, so there are just so many more opportunities for accidents to happen.

Anyways, not sure if his claim was accurate (the point of the post was that even if there's only one slap in your show, you still need to hire a fight choreographer) but an interesting anecdotal data point maybe.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:43 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


I am going to formally ask that people PLEASE also let's talk about some of the OTHER stuff that happened on Sunday night at the Oscars because there was a lot of OTHER stuff that happened.

If y'all wanna debate something, how about this: the dancers during Sebastian Yatra's performance of "Dos Oruguitas". Cool additional spectacle, or "Ann Reinking doing 'Against All Odds'" level kitsch?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:47 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


unless there’s really a point being made by these calls for more precise language.

The point is black men are routinely described with more aggressive language that paints them as hyper-violent. It is undeniable that there has been a massive escalation of language portraying Will Smith as exceedingly violent and out of control ("he could have killed him!") and we should not be contributing to that.
posted by brook horse at 10:49 AM on March 30 [18 favorites]


Big "it's not an kill list, it's a Disposition Matrix" energy from the slap v. punch comments

Since this keeps being brought up: Why does it matter? If you want to argue that a slap would be fine while a punch wouldn’t, why not argue that actual point? Arguing semantics for the heck of it comes across as “Just Asking Questions”-style bloviation, unless there’s really a point being made by these calls for more precise language
.

I'm not arguing that a slap is fine. It is never ok to hit someone for saying words. I very clearly indicated that in my comment.

Smith was clearly in the wrong, he shouldn't have done that, full-stop.

I don't like that he's subtly being presented as worse than what he did, because why do that? He was definitely in the wrong, for what he actually did, full-stop.
posted by ishmael at 10:50 AM on March 30 [6 favorites]


Wanda Sykes - who helped put the show together - is pissed she didn't get an apology.

“I know he apologized to Chris but I believe…We were the hosts. This is our house, we’re inviting you in, we’re going to take care of y’all tonight and make sure you have a good time,” Sykes said. “And no one has apologized to us. And we worked really hard to put that show together. I’m like, with the industry itself, like, ‘What the hell is this?'”

“I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this but I saw Chris at Guy’s party and as soon as I walked up to him, the first thing he said was, ‘I’m so sorry.’ I said, ‘Why are you apologizing?’ And he said, ‘It was supposed to be your night, you and Amy and Regina, y’all were doing such a great job. I’m so sorry this is now going to be about this,'” Sykes recalled. “That’s who Chris is.”

IndieWire
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 11:08 AM on March 30 [23 favorites]


I don’t know if it’s possible but a follow up to summer of soul as a straight concert film rather than a documentary would be amazing.

Personally, I'm holding out hope for a gigantic box set. I want to see Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach's full performance.
posted by box at 11:16 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


However in the new film, they cut out the whole search for the double agent plot and never mention anything about Yueh's conditioning, so his betrayal comes out of nowhere. It comes off, to me at least, as "Of course it was the inscrutable Asian man with his mysterious exotic ways!" Seemed more than a wee bit gross.

I liked Dune a lot, this does definitely come off gross, but I think the primary factor in this is bad business decisions by Warner Brothers. I won't say racism was no factor, but there's a bunch of the film that's not well explained and an ending that drags out way too long that all trace back to the same problem, which is that the studio was waffling on whether there would be a sequel until the movie was in theaters.

That lack of vision meant both that the sequel will be way more costly (they could have shot them back to back, saving a lot of money), and also that the director/producers/editors had to craft a single movie that would work on its own if they never got the greenlight for the sequel. The result of this is that a bunch of detail that might have been in the middle part of the movie had to be compressed or removed entirely, and that the ending had to both be a sequel set up but also kind of a final ending "just in case", which is a real bummer.
posted by a faithful sock at 12:06 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]


These comments are based on streaming at home:

I haven't yet watched King Richard, Ricardo or Belfast (or West Side), and don't have any particular interest in Dune. But re: others:

Perhaps because I saw it more recently than Coda, I would've gone with Power of the Dog for best pic, the male acting awards, and maybe adapted screenplay.

And I think this is an old tech discussion, but I don't quite get an fx-heavy movie (Dune) earning best cinematography. (Again, PotD for me.)

I watched Eyes of Tammy Faye this week, and thought Chastain was really good, the award deserved. But I should go back and read the article someone cited re: an original character v. a real person (which both of the lead awards were for this year).

One negative for me WRT to Eyes - I could not figure out what default color tone settings to use on the TV, the (Best) makeup didn't look good in any of them. Yes, the real life Tammy Faye wore a lot. But everyone's makeup seemed off. With one setting, the faces were pale tan and the image seemed less sharp.

The other two TV settings made most of the white actors' faces look red. And Garfield's prosthetics were very distracting. He looked like the fake, crazy Santa in the one Tim Allen Santa Clause movie.
posted by NorthernLite at 12:23 PM on March 30


apparently the various Academy members who could have made this call were scattered throughout the room
Jada Pinkett Smith received a membership invitation in 2018. (2020, 2021 invitees.) FWIW, Pinkett Smith was also up for an award this year, as she was an executive producer of best-picture nominee King Richard. Academy Promises ‘Appropriate Action’ Over Will Smith Incident (Variety) has the full text of the letter sent out to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's 9,900 members.

The idea that somehow the security staff didn't know what to do in the case of an assault is ludicrous
You'd think they would have gotten some training after Adrien Brody assaulted Halle Berry in 2003.

Elaine May got an honorary Oscar!!!!!!
Yes! Also in that cohort: Liv Ullmann, Danny Glover (given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award), and Samuel L. Jackson:

In an emotional acceptance speech, Jackson looked back on his career, noting his early, nameless roles, including what he described as "Gang Member No. 2' and "Black Guy.” He thanked his wife of 42 years, Latanya Richardson Jackson; director Quentin Tarantino, with whom he has made six films; “every person who has ever bought a ticket to any movie I was in”; and notably his wigmaker. (archived WaPo link). Denzel Washington presented the award, and there's a nice photo of the two embracing during the ceremony. At 73, Jackson's been in more than 150 films; per the article:

“I tried to entertain audiences the way Hollywood entertained me,” said Jackson, who grew up watching films in segregated theaters in Tennessee. “Make them forget their lives for a few hours, be thrilled, awed or excited.” [...] “When I got this call last year, it was unexpected,” he said, “but I guarantee you, this thing is going to be cherished.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:25 PM on March 30 [7 favorites]


If you believe that a slap is wrong, there is absolutely positively ZERO reason to call it anything other than what it is. If you feel that you have to pretend it was a punch and not a slap, YOU are the one saying that a slap is harmless or less harmful.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:43 PM on March 30 [6 favorites]




unless there’s really a point being made by these calls for more precise language.

The point is that using an inaccurate word to describe what happened misleads your reader. It's like saying "I dropped a spoon on the floor" when it was actually a fork. I'm not saying for a moment that a slap is OK, simply that it's right word to accurately describe what we all saw. Why pretend otherwise?
posted by Paul Slade at 1:20 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]


Will Smith did not poke, push, shove, kick, stab, shoot, or punch Chris Rock. Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. Saying anything else is just a lie. "What does it matter" is such a bizarre argument.
posted by Roommate at 1:34 PM on March 30 [4 favorites]


"This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let's not bicker and argue about who slapped who!"
posted by SPrintF at 1:38 PM on March 30 [4 favorites]


"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room Oscars!"
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:40 PM on March 30 [9 favorites]


Clearly what is needed is an Oscar Slap Simulator program wherein we can experiment with all of the possible racial, gender, sexual, etc. variations in the scenario.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:25 PM on March 30 [14 favorites]


I give your concept the back of my hand.
posted by y2karl at 2:33 PM on March 30


Guys. It's time for some Slap Theory.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:49 PM on March 30 [1 favorite]


Oh, sure, NOW they say they asked him to leave and he wouldn't leave. (WaPo)
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday that Will Smith was asked to leave the Oscars ceremony after he slapped Chris Rock, but Smith refused.
“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated,” the academy said in a statement. “We also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”

The academy said it is providing Smith with “at least 15 days’ notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and the opportunity to be heard beforehand by means of a written response.” The board will meet again on April 18, at which point it “may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions.”
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:41 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]


We asked him to leave, he said no, what else could we do but give him an award and invite him on stage to give a speech?
posted by Roommate at 3:43 PM on March 30 [20 favorites]


Perhaps clarify it with a modifier? A "hard slap", a "full-force slap" maybe?

Glove slap maybe?
posted by kirkaracha at 5:26 PM on March 30 [1 favorite]


FTR, the victim of the physical violence didn't describe it as either a slap or a punch, Chris Rock said, "Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.".
posted by fairmettle at 8:32 PM on March 30


It's like saying "I dropped a spoon on the floor" when it was actually a fork. I'm not saying for a moment that a slap is OK, simply that it's right word to accurately describe what we all saw. Why pretend otherwise?

Because the exact KIND of violent act is not the bone of contention here, the contention is that it was ANY violent act PERIOD.

Say an apartment building has a "no dogs allowed" policy, and a new tenant has smuggled in their dog - and the other tenants, when discussing the situation and deciding whether they should alert the landlord, get all caught up on arguing about whether it was a Cardigan Welsh Corgi or a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The kind of corgi isn't the point - the point is that BOTH kinds of corgis are still DOGS, and in this situation all that matters is that it is a dog.

The kind of violence isn't the point - the point is that it WAS violence, period. Being "accurate" is one thing, being RELEVANT is another.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:36 PM on March 30 [6 favorites]


Chris Rock said, "Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.".

This is exaggeration for comedic effect and to cut through the embarrassment. He has every right to feel that way if he genuinely does and we'll likely find that out over the coming days.

if a white actor had gone up on stage and slapped a Black comedian for making jokes about his white wife’s appearance, this entire conversation would be very, very different.

And? Not sure if that's a joke statement? Those are two situations with very different social and historical contexts, as well as different power dynamics.

Imagine how different the discourse would be if aliens landed in the middle of the Oscars.

Appreciated.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 9:56 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]




The kind of violence isn't the point - the point is that it WAS violence, period.

More than one (in fact a significant portion of people) have pushed back on the rhetorical escalation because that has a historical baggage of racist framing. Setting aside those who are extremely on the side of, "talk shit get hit" philosophy, you have to notice nobody is denying violence happened. People would like to move the conversation forward BECAUSE violence as a solution is problematic once scaled up even when we can situate it as an immediate justice thing in the absence of trust in the system. But the insistence to keep escalating what happened into terrifying and monstrous levels is being read and experienced differently by people from the black community mainly for a reason. You have to at least concede that point. People WOULD like to talk about how men especially black men can move forward on this, and relatedly, all sorts of receipts are coming out for Chris Rock on his history of disrespecting black women which contextualizes the immediate responses that came out, but idk maybe also explains the terror from other demographics at being a recipient of getting popped in the mouth after one too many (innocent i guess) cracks about black hair.

For no reason at all i had to check back on mefi's January 2021 fpp on Armie Hammer, and while both threads don't share the same commenters totally, I cannot deny the vibe was so different, and that was with actual testimonies of women involved (some of which later turned out to be fake) but people sure can control their anxiety around a white man being accused of cannibalism.
posted by cendawanita at 10:25 PM on March 30 [4 favorites]


For no reason at all i had to check back on mefi's January 2021 fpp on Armie Hammer, and while both threads don't share the same commenters totally, I cannot deny the vibe was so different, and that was with actual testimonies of women involved (some of which later turned out to be fake) but people sure can control their anxiety around a white man being accused of cannibalism.

Comparing that to this situation, though, is apples-and-oranges because of the difference between hearsay and "we actually saw things go down". If Armie Hammer had been at the Oscars and was caught on camera actually biting someone, I suspect the "vibe" of the ensuing conversation in here would have more closely resembled this one.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:49 AM on March 31 [3 favorites]


It's totally fair to ask for clear language to avoid racist tropes.

I think much of what's being read as lack of support for that argument here is resistance to the arguments that the "slap not a punch" argument is being combined with. I don't really think there is going to be a first half of an equation that gets a lot of buy-in on a second half that finishes with "and that's why this man had no choice but to slap this other man on behalf of his wife's honor, which was a measured and reasonable thing to do."

I am aware of the cruelty of what Chris Rock said, given JPS's condition, and persistent misogynoir about Black womem and their hair. I get Will Smith being mad. Oh hell yeah. I haven't said much about that, but it's not because I don't know or don't care, it's because I'm trying to stay in my lane.

There's a whole mess of toxic masculinity and narcissism in that second half of the equation I'm just not gonna be able to go along with. That's a lane I know all too well.

And despite the (again: valid) point about not escalating language, the call for precise language is gonna end up lumped with all of the other hair-splitting going on in service of designating this particular violence a "right" and "reasonable" amount.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:24 AM on March 31 [7 favorites]


The language we use to discuss the event matters and how well we understand the context and the cruelty of the joke is critical. But those can still be entirely separate from how we feel about the belief that sometimes a man should slap someone for the honor of his woman. If you're laboring under the misconception that if you get the first part of that straightened out, everyone will agree wholeheartedly on the second, you probably need to let that go.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:35 AM on March 31 [3 favorites]


It's totally fair to ask for clear language to avoid racist tropes.

I'm sincerely not understanding how quibbling over the exact nature of the blow would avoid racist tropes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:44 AM on March 31


Exaggerating the severity/physicality of interactions has long been a technique of racists. Think about news stories where you hear how authorities will describe what happened vs. what really did happen when Black folks are involved.

I am maybe not the best advocate for this argument as I myself did say "punch" instead of "slap" once above, but I see the point and can concede.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:50 AM on March 31 [16 favorites]


Fair enough.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:51 AM on March 31




One angle to this that I've not seen brought up yet is that we have a number of writers, directors and actors are weighing in, but not addressing the fact that we can compare and contrast Smith's actions with one of the most tired tropes in all of Hollywood: the woman (almost always a cis white woman) who slaps a man not because he is a clear and present danger to her safety but because he has said something that offends her.

You've probably seen it in every genre of film and TV show you watch, be it comedy, sci-fi/fantasy, drama, thriller, or period piece. A man makes some quip about a woman's age, looks, weight, or lack of "virtue;" or is encountering her again after a messed up exit from their prior relationship. Woman slaps him. Man rubs his jaw and says something along the lines of "Okay, I probably deserved that." Sometimes he makes another quip and she tries to slap him again but he catches her hand while staring deeply into her eyes....and all too often, this is then followed by a kiss and/or lovemaking.

Now that's some toxic patriarchal bullshit right there, because the implication is "Of course as a little woman, she can't actually hurt this big strong man, so the slap is more about sending a message than an intent to cause harm." But it also indicates that some people do have the ability to frame a slap in response to words as not a big deal. (Not me! Wanna be clear that I think Will Smith is all kinds of wrong here and he has a long, long way to go to make amends in my boot.)

So, yeah, I laugh at comments like those proposing a slap simulator where we can remix the incident as we wish, but I also think it's very much worth our collective while to think about how we would respond differently to different permutations of this scenario and why. Maybe -- probably -- it's time to retire that tired ass trope, among other things.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:17 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


"Now TMZ is reporting that Will being asked to leave is not true, citing sources who say that several producers actually advised the opposite, including EP Will Packer who supposedly told Will that they wanted him to STAY. "

I thought this was thoughtful:
"A simple binary is not going to work here, this entire situation is the definition of “two things can be true”.
Chris Rock shouldn’t have made that joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.
Will Smith shouldn’t have hit Chris Rock.
“Love made me do it” is a toxic self-defense that echoes the language of abusers.
Jumping from that to “Will Smith is an abuser” is a HUGE leap and some of y’all are plummeting to your metaphorical deaths right now.
If you think Smith should face a legal charge, that doesn’t make you racist.
The collective response that cops should have been called has racial connotations.
Black women are historically, socially, legally, emotionally, mentally, and physically unprotected in society.
That doesn’t make what Will Smith did okay.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:55 PM on March 31 [14 favorites]


Something that got lost in the shuffle:

When Chris Rock announced the winner of the Best Documentary right after this went down, he said it was produced "by Amir 'Questlove' Thompson and four white guys". But one of those other guys was not white - he's one of a very small group of South Asians to ever be awarded an Oscar, and he's pretty mad not to have been acknowledged.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:35 PM on March 31 [11 favorites]


Jumping from that to “Will Smith is an abuser” is a HUGE leap and some of y’all are plummeting to your metaphorical deaths right now..

Agree with all of LaineyGossip's points and that's been my personal take from the start, but this point, this point especially, was why i even stuck my neck out here in this thread in the first place.
posted by cendawanita at 7:30 PM on March 31 [9 favorites]


TMZ published an update stating that Will Smith has resigned from AMPAS.

I hope Chris Rock finds a way to combine this "resignation" with his prior joke about Jada "boycotting" in 2016 and bring this bullshit drama full-circle.
posted by heyho at 4:17 PM on April 1


More from the Guardian: Will Smith reportedly resigns from Academy, saying he betrayed its trust
“I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work,” Smith’s statement said.

“So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate,” the statement added.
Yup.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:08 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


Probably was given the choice to resign or get kicked out.
posted by geoff. at 5:54 PM on April 1


Absolutely possible, but I also think he's media-savvy enough to have possibly come to the decision before it was put to him from the outside. We'll probably never know.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:22 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


We'll probably never know.

I alluded to it already up thread, but I wonder if the best move Smith could make right now would be to disappear? And not just for a few months or seasons -- maybe forever. He can't need the money. And I can't imagine fame and the spotlight being anything but poisonous to him for a good long time.
posted by philip-random at 8:59 PM on April 1


What the heck does it mean to resign from the Academy? He can't vote? He can't go to shows? He's not eligible for an Oscar? So far I haven't seen the consequences of this covered.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:20 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


He can't need the money.

Nah but he has an ego and that's not a slight on Will Smith but every major Hollywood star, he also still makes people a lot of money. Until he's no longer a box office draw he'll still be in demand though he probably needs time to cool down. If Roman Polanski can still make movies, Will Smith can.

Variety has what this means for Will Smith which is basically nothing, only thing he can't do is vote. He can still go to the Oscars, win an Oscar, keep his Oscar, etc. It is not lie he lost his SAG card or something.
posted by geoff. at 9:42 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Mod note: A couple deleted. I think there are more than enough hard feelings here and elsewhere that we don't need to open a brand new can of "what about this other so-far unexplored axis of marginalization* that I'd expect people to joke about." [*ageism ]
posted by taz (staff) at 1:44 AM on April 2 [4 favorites]


Resigning from the Academy may be largely symbolic, and he may have done it to avoid being expelled, but it's still huge, especially since the Academy has been heavily criticized for having so few Black members. I think we're reaching the point in this internet shaming (it always happens) where some people will be shouting "it's not enough" no matter what he does. He could give away his wealth and enter a monastery, and there would be a few people saying that it's self-serving. Per the Wikipedia article, five people have been expelled from the Academy and Smith is the third to resign. It is a huge deal.

Will Smith did a terrible thing in the heat of the moment, and it will dog him for the rest of his life. I'm not sure how or if it will affect his movie career, but every interview, every article, including his obituary, will reference it (as will everything about Chris Rock). It will come up in sitcoms and cartoons (South Park, anyone?). He knows his children will have to see this too - every time he is mentioned. The next time a Black man wins best actor, Will Smith's slap will be part of the articles - whenever there's ANY article about the history of Black people and the Oscars. Enduring Chris Rock's lame joke for a moment will seem like a crazy, fun dream compared with what he will deal with now. I'm not saying this is fair, and I'm not saying it to pile on Smith, but to emphasize that he will suffer a lot for that very bad decision.

I would not like to be judged by the whole world forever for the worst thing I did in my life, and I don't think Smith deserves to be either. Unfortunately, that is what we do now. I wish there were a way to make it stop.
posted by FencingGal at 6:36 AM on April 2 [6 favorites]


There are over 9000 Academy members so my understanding is you actually have to be invited to attend. This harks back to the crack Chris Rock made when he hosted the “White Peoples Choice Awards” in 2016 after Jada Pinkett Smith made a short video beforehand saying she was boycotting the show due to the lack of diversity in the nominations and he pointed out that her non-attendance was actually for the same reason he was boycotting Rihanna’s panties, he wasn’t invited. I think it’s obvious that Will Smith won’t be presenting the Best Actress award next year.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:14 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


I would not like to be judged by the whole world forever for the worst thing I did in my life, and I don't think Smith deserves to be either. Unfortunately, that is what we do now. I wish there were a way to make it stop.

Reminds me of how we still hear about the time Prince Harry was in some kind of Nazi costume once, to this day. Or the poster my parents had hanging up in the laundry room as a kid: a kitten hanging in a tree with the text, "When I do something right, no one remembers. When I do something wrong, no one ever forgets." Our brains are geared to remember bad things better than good ones, period, and thus we go.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:57 PM on April 2 [4 favorites]


I would not like to be judged by the whole world forever for the worst thing I did in my life, and I don't think Smith deserves to be either.

It comes down to what the worst thing is. Honestly, this sentiment is one of those things that seems right but just doesn't hold up. What's the worst thing you've ever done? Did you do it to someone? How do they feel about it? Because there absolutely is a scale for these things but also, if you disgrace yourself in public by assaulting someone and that's the first thing people remember about you, you dug your own grave there.

We forgive the violence of men too easily. If this is the worst thing Will Smith has ever done, it might not outweigh all the good he's ever done but damn sure this is the first thing that should be taken into account when hiring him in the future.
posted by crossoverman at 7:45 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


If this is the worst thing Will Smith has ever done, it might not outweigh all the good he's ever done but damn sure this is the first thing that should be taken into account when hiring him in the future.

I agree with you that there there is a scale for these things. Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Roman Polanski have all been expelled from the Academy. While what Smith did was wrong, I don't think it's in the same ballpark.

And it's totally reasonable to consider this when making decisions about hiring him, but most of the people discussing this - and who will continue to discuss this - aren't making hiring decisions. Most of them are just gossiping. I just think the punishment of having this brought up forever and ever doesn't fit the crime. I would argue that, as a culture, we have lost our sense of scale.
posted by FencingGal at 8:37 AM on April 3 [5 favorites]


And it's totally reasonable to consider this when making decisions about hiring him, but most of the people discussing this - and who will continue to discuss this - aren't making hiring decisions.

Until now - Will had a project coming up with Netflix, and they're putting it on the back burner now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:01 AM on April 3


I think SNL made some extremely good points, like "So now we just ask the victim right after they get hit in the head? Hey, you okay if the guy who just attacked you hangs around for a while? You don’t want to make him mad again. I can’t believe the Academy has a worse concussion protocol than the NFL.”

I did also snicker at "sets a terrible precedent for having to defend your wife at award shows" and "You know what else makes you do crazy things? Crazy." And "Can we stop pretending everyone knew Jada had alopecia?" because uh, I didn't.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:23 AM on April 3 [9 favorites]


And "Can we stop pretending everyone knew Jada had alopecia?" because uh, I didn't.

I didn't know. And that was my initial response - how was Chris Rock to know? But that's also kind of irrelevant - it is a bad joke. It is ableist. He should apologise to her and he hasn't. Regardless of his intent with a bad joke whose reference is decades old (although, it is the Academy Awards, make jokes about films from 100 years ago, if you must), it's still hurtful. It feels like, if Rock had known, we're saying that he had some complicity in being hit. But that's not how this works. If he knew - and he should have at least known not to make fun of a black woman's hair, given his documentary Good Hair - then he's a dick. Still doesn't mean he should have been slapped.
posted by crossoverman at 3:57 PM on April 3 [7 favorites]


it is a bad joke. It is ableist.

I don't see how it's ableist if he thought it was a style choice. When I see a woman with a shaved head, I don't assume there's an illness involved unless I'm at the cancer center. I found the documentary Good Hair pretty disappointing - it seemed very surface level to me and a bit "ha ha, look at these ladies." But since I'm white, here's a Black woman's perspective on what Chris Rock "got wrong" in that film.

Honestly, I don't see what the age of the movie has to do with whether it was a bad joke. It's not like people didn't get the reference, and using a more up-to-date movie would not have made it more funny or less unkind.
posted by FencingGal at 6:46 PM on April 3 [3 favorites]


I’m a white woman who deliberately avoids learning things about celebrities and pop culture and *I* knew about the alopecia. I find it hard to believe that it’s as obscure a thing as some people are making it out to be.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:45 PM on April 3 [3 favorites]


Probably because I don't do social media or watch Red Table Talk, and all I feel like I ever hear about is Will and Jada's marriage drama otherwise, in my case.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:08 PM on April 3


Even if he didn't know she had alopecia - when is making a joke based on someone's appearance a good idea anyway? At the very least, it's just.....tacky.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:35 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]


when is making a joke based on someone's appearance a good idea anyway?

Joan Rivers made a whole career out of it, for whatever that's worth...
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:03 AM on April 5


Saxon Kane: And that's exactly why I disliked her so.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:17 AM on April 5 [2 favorites]


(Also - it didn't make her ENTIRE career, she was actually quite a ground-breaking comedienne back in the day. The bit you're thinking of was more of a "my main career is fading and I'm going to try clinging to relevance by being scandalous" move.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:18 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was just being a wee bit facetious :)
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:28 AM on April 5


WaPo: Will Smith banned from the Oscars for TEN YEARS. Geez, I would have expected ONE year, honestly.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:16 PM on April 8


Will Smith banned from the Oscars for TEN YEARS.

Okay, now do it for Roman Polanski. And Woody Allen. And Casey Affleck. And Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Bryan Singer, James Franco, Jeffrey Tambor..
posted by fight or flight at 1:00 PM on April 8 [8 favorites]


Damn right, fight or flight.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:06 PM on April 8


He's banned from attendance at the ceremony, not from winning (in case that wasn't clear).

Roman Polanski should be in jail (and would be if he tried to attend the Oscars...). But I do think the question of how to handle a guest who misbehaves at your party is a somewhat different question than the question of how to deal with award nominees with charges of misconduct against them.
posted by praemunire at 1:09 PM on April 8 [3 favorites]


I actually checked and Polanski was expelled (but not until after the Academy nominated him for a bunch of awards and gave him the Best Picture in 2003).
posted by fight or flight at 1:10 PM on April 8


But I do think the question of how to handle a guest who misbehaves at your party is a somewhat different question than the question of how to deal with award nominees with charges of misconduct against them.

True. That means that Adrian Brody can be banned for sexually assaulting Halle Berry on stage when she gave him his award in 2003 right?

(FTR my ire is directed at the hypocrisy of the Academy, not at anyone here.)
posted by fight or flight at 1:13 PM on April 8 [4 favorites]


That means that Adrian Brody can be banned for sexually assaulting Halle Berry on stage when she gave him his award in 2003 right?

Fine by me.
posted by praemunire at 3:10 PM on April 8


Ten years?! Where did they pull that number from? What did they do with John Wayne when he tried to attack a Native American child at the Oscars? Suck his dick off and put him on the board? Was he banned too?
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 3:17 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


What did they do with John Wayne when he tried to attack a Native American child at the Oscars?

There's no need to belittle her, Sacheen Littlefeather was not a child at the time of the 1973 Academy Awards. She was 26 years old and President of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee, and has a fascinating story in her own right.
posted by fairmettle at 12:50 AM on April 9 [7 favorites]


I don't get him being banned, not in context of what they have done/usually do. It's ridiculous to act like Will Smith is just going to go around hitting people for years and years and he'd better take a decade off to make sure the Academy is safe. If they're not going to punish all of the other offenders listed above, singling him out is somewhere between performative and gross.

What he did was pretty fucked up, but treating this incident so much differently than other problematic incidents invites a lot of questions for which they flat out do not have answers.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:49 AM on April 15 [5 favorites]


@thedawnpm: There’s a racial element to people wanting Will Smith’s career destroyed for a slap and wanting Ezra Miller to get help after multiple violent assaults.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:46 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


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