Chris vs. Will: The Real Lesson is to Protect Your Wives, Despite Past Circumstances

We assume everyone reading this article is up to date regarding the 2022 Oscars telecast. If you happen to be living under a rock, Chris Rock and Will Smith had an altercation that began with Rock making a “G.I. Jane” joke about Pinkett-Smith due to her shaved head and being in the film. Smith took offense to the joke, considering Jada’s alopecia diagnosis, stormed the stage dramatically, and met Chris Rock with a slap to his face. Following that, he casually walked back to his seat and repeated twice, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

As expected, social media erupted immediately, considering this happened live. The usual group of varying opinions from people came bussin’ through on social media. You have the hypebeasts that hop on the popular opinion’s wave Then, you have the over analyzers: the people who are finding all the reasons why Will didn’t have to do what he did. Third, you have the “Well, when Will was publicly embarrassed, Jada didn’t support him like that.”

The uncensored altercation:

While we all have our personal opinions on Will’s actions, let’s give him his flowers for one thing that he undisputedly did correctly; he supported and protected his wife’s honor when she felt uncomfortable. That’s something all husbands should consider mimicking. I’m not telling the fellas to physically assault every man who disrespects their wife because we don’t all have Will Smith’s privilege. Most of us would go to jail in that situation. But this is a good lesson on how to protect your wife and at least stand up for her when she feels uncomfortable.

Could Will have found a better time and place to confront Chris about his jokes regarding Jada, considering this isn’t the first time this happened? Absolutely. This year’s Oscars were already legendary before this stole the show. Produced by a Black Man named Will Packer, hosted by Chris Rock, and one of, if not the highest honor of Best Actor awarded to Smith, was more than enough of a talking point for the night. The slap overshadowed the entire night and all the beautiful things that came from it.

Nevertheless, it’s hard for me to shame a man for how he handles situations like that. Smith has been publicly humiliated a few times over the last couple of years regarding his wife, entanglements, plus more. I believe that a man can only take so much, and looking at Will Smith, he appears emotionally spent. Maybe he’s just reached his breaking point. Either way, It’s hard to judge a man on how he handles those situations. It’s hard to judge a man on how he protects his family, but I do give him credit for doing what he felt was needed to make his wife feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.

As a society, we can agree and disagree on things, but something more of us can agree on is his intentions, which were in good faith.

About Author

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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