The Oscars have by and large been overshadowed by the Chris Rock and Will Smith slapping incident. For Will Smith, apologies have been forthcoming, but many feel it is a blemish on his otherwise untainted career.
We all know that violence is never the answer for anything, no matter what the provocation. In this case, the provocation is also somewhat questionable as Chris Rock maintains that it was said in jest and if anything it was meant to be a positive inspiration as alluding to Jada Pinkett’s bald look to GI Jane’s was meant in the best possible way.
”Jada I love you. GI Jane, can’t wait to see it,” said Rock while presenting the award for best documentary.
Smith had then walked on stage, struck Rock, walked back to his seat and yelled out profanity at the comic.
Sometimes a slap may be a long time brewing for reasons best known to the doer of the deed. In Smith’s case, he seemed to have taken the joke lightly until an eye roll from his wife and a hurt look caused him to get up on stage and slap Chris Rock.
Similarly, closer to home, Singaporean actress recalls an incident 30 years ago on the set of Pretty Faces where she received a slap.
During the filming of the 1991 drama which shot her to fame, there was that one scene in which her character was meant to feel the rage of her friend. Tay recalled fellow actress Lin Meijiao slapping her for real in a scene.
Tay said she remembers feeling the pain distinctly and tears just flowing.
Was it an accident or was it intentional? Spur of the moment? A spontaneous reaction? One can never know for sure, as after the fact it’s almost impossible to tell.
Similarly, Smith who has chartered his career by being popular on-screen and off now has to face the same music and questions about why he reacted so harshly.
Forbes’ Scott Mendelson pointed out that the Oscar incident had shattered a carefully crafted 30-year image of approachable, harmless and always on movie star charisma.
Were the actions of Lin or Smith the result of provocation, or was it a trauma response? What were their triggers? In Smith’s case, the provocation seems clearer than in Lin’s situation since there has been little or no publicity on the matter subsequently, though neither action is in any way justifiable.
Chris Rock has still chosen to remain quiet on the matter while many await to hear his thoughts about not only being struck by Smith, but also if he knew about Pinkett Smith’s medical condition.