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Editorial: Will Smith Oscars controversy blown out of proportion

It’s been over a week since “the slap heard ‘round the world,” and discussions about the controversial moment at the 94th Academy Awards show no signs of stopping soon.

If you are unfamiliar with the situation, which is nearly impossible at this point, comedian Chris Rock made a “G.I. Jane” joke about actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, who suffers from alopecia.

This prompted her husband and actor Will Smith to get on stage and slap Rock. Smith proceeded to go back to his seat and yell “Keep my wife’s name out your f****** mouth!”

As expected, this sparked several different conversations concerning the limits of comedians’ jokes, the Smiths’ relationship and what is acceptable/unacceptable behavior at award shows.

Did Chris Rock make a bad joke? Sure. Should Will Smith have gone on stage and smacked Chris Rock? Probably not. Did it warrant the amount of backlash and weird conversations that have been received? Not at all.

The moment was undoubtedly unprofessional and unnecessary, but the people who are pretending to be “traumatized” by a slap are simply being overdramatic.

For example, Amy Schumer, comedian and one of the hosts for this year’s ceremony, claimed that she was “triggered and traumatized” by the “disturbing” incident.

Yet, she discussed how she planned on making a joke about the Alec Baldwin shooting incident, but she was not allowed to.

While no one can tell you what you should be traumatized by, a shooting is surely more harmful than a slap across the face.

Additionally, there has been some conversation about whether Smith should be able to keep his Oscar that he won on the same night for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard.

If people such as Woody Allen, Roman Polanski and Mel Gibson, among others, who have been accused of doing much worse, can keep their awards, Smith should be able to keep his.

Smith has since apologized to Rock and the Academy on social media, and he has also resigned from the Academy.

While the incident has provided us with some quality entertainment and a noteworthy pop culture moment, it has since become the topic on your social media timeline where you sigh audibly and go “Ugh, this again?”

This editorial reflects the general opinion of the Spectator. Photo courtesy of Bethany Davis, special to the Spectator. 

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