— Variety (@Variety) March 29, 2022
With social media and the news abuzz with the recent Will Smith and Chris Rock incident, it’s been interesting to see the commentary. In a divided world, this has brought on a division in opinion.
I don’t agree with violence; I don’t think it solves anything. It’s a temporary release, followed by regret and guilt if you feel consequences or perhaps it just heightens more hatred and anger.
I’ve been a Will Smith fan for many years and to a lesser degree, Chris Rock. I witnessed poor form on Chris’ part and bad judgement and impulse control on Will’s. I absolutely understand the history of African American women, the judgement and derogatory comments made throughout history about innumerable things including their hair. I also feel compassion for anyone with an illness, disability, or autoimmune disease; they should never be belittled. Nobody should be.
Upon reflection on the incident and subsequent posts and articles, I see two men who need to do some inner work on themselves. Yes, comedians make a living out of mocking people and situations, but they need to ply their craft in a tasteful manner. Any comedian who intentionally mocks a woman (especially about something historically painful) while she’s sitting right there has a problem. Anyone who needs to use another’s misfortune for laughs, popularity, status, or fame has deep-seated issues.
I think Chris Rock has a wounded inner child that he masks by needing to make others laugh. Maybe a people pleaser as a kid, or needing to be the centre of attention at all costs—possibly underpinned by insecurities.
Let’s look at Will. Yes, there was a man who felt the need to protect his wife, but he could have protected her in other ways. What’s in Will’s belief system that prompted him to react that way? Anger is sometimes driven by fear. Was he scared of judgement if he didn’t react? If he didn’t prove that he was the “hero” of the night? Was he scared Jada would think less of him? His children would be disappointed? With so many other options to handle this situation, he chose aggression at a ceremony televised around the world.
There’s far more going on inside this man’s head than an outburst of anger over an inappropriate, derogatory joke.
As humans, we’re always a work in progress. Some people don’t understand the healing they need or how their belief systems affect them until later in life. Sadly, some never really heal. It doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have, how famous you are, how “happy” your relationship looks on the outside—there’s always work to be done. I’ve often said everyone is some degree of f*cked up; it’s how we address our issues. Indeed, if we ever do.
This incident shows me that two grown men, famous celebrities, successful at their crafts are no different or better than the rest of us.
If Chris can’t choose better jokes than ones that belittle people, he’ll continue to be the centre of another’s anger. More importantly, it speaks volumes of the type of person he is. Being a comedian does not make everyone fodder for your laughs—that’s not a job, that’s cruel and nasty. If Will cannot locate the source of his anger and channel it more productively—he’ll repeat the same mistakes over and over. It’s a poor reflection on him and sets a bad example for all those young people who worship him. It’s also an obvious problem with the ego that needs to be addressed.
I respect how people choose to live their lives; their private lives are their business. But when poor behaviours are on public display—we really need to question who these people are at their core. I believe most people are inherently good but also believe we need to sort our sh*t out. We form our belief system by age seven. These beliefs form our behaviours—we need to do the work to ensure our belief systems actually support the life we want to lead.
It’s an arrogant person lacking self-awareness who thinks they’re not a work-in-progress and who refuses to be honest about their poor-behaviour choices and seek help.
I hope they both take learning and grow from what’s made them look foolish. They are grown men behaving badly. Whilst Will’s aggression is an obvious issue, Chris’s sense of entitlement to make those sorts of jokes is disgraceful.
In a respectful, kind and compassionate world we would not have to have discussions like this. But given that we live in a world where greed, ego, power, and control are becoming the norm, I can only hope these two men adored by millions around the world can man the f*ck up and own their behaviour authentically. Seek the help they need to become better people and lead the change this world needs.
Two icons. Two wounded men. It’s time the unhealed, little boys find what’s broken, so they can heal, grow up, and behave like two worshipped stars should.