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Where there’s a Will there’s another way: that slap was just ...

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Where there’s a Will there’s another way: that slap was just plain wrong

Will Smith’s behaviour was selfish, misguided and a dismal example of how far society still has to go

Columnist

What does that almighty slap say about us? For those of you who have been detached from the world in a bunker without wifi, this is what happened. At the 2022 Academy Awards in Hollywood last Sunday night (early Monday in SA), and in front of 16.6-million people, the slap happened. Comedian Chris Rock was on stage doing what comedians do: make fun of everything, including other people. Then, in a tasteless joke, he picked on Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Jada shaves her head because of a condition called alopecia, which causes someone to lose patches of hair at a time. Whether Chris knew this or not he took aim: “Jada, I love ya. GI Jane 2 — can’t wait to see it.” In this 1997 movie, the main character, Demi Moore, has a shaved head.

Will laughed but Jada did not, rolling her eyes. And then the unthinkable happened. Smith walked onto the stage and in front of everyone gave Rock that almighty slap. The comedian absorbed the force, made light of it and continued the show. But not before Smith, now back in his seat, shouted angrily at a visibly shaken Rock: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*****g mouth!”..

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