A columnist is claiming that white people reacting negatively to actor Will Smith’s televised assault of comedian Chris Rock for an off-handed joke about Smith’s wife is further proof of racism in America — because of course.
In a piece published by the far-left Guardian on Tuesday, Tayo Bero, a freelance ‘culture’ writer, blasted Hollywood types and critics online for what she claims is outsized, outlandish, and race-related condemnation of Smith.
No doubt you’ve likely seen video of the incident: Smith walking up to Rock on stage at the Academy Awards and smacking him with an open-handed right after made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head; Pinkett Smith reportedly suffers from complications with the auto-immune disorder alopecia, which causes baldness.
Rock’s joke made reference to the late 1990s hit film starring Demi Moore called “G.I. Jane,” in which she shaves her head to attend Navy SEAL school.
The Blaze notes:
The joke didn’t sit well with Smith, who resorted to violence and shouting profanities in objection.
The criticism of Smith came from many angles and personalities, and had many layers — not the least of which being the Smiths’ public disclosure of marital issues in recent years and how much that may have impacted the actor’s reaction.
But according to Bero, it all spawned from one common thread: Racism.
“White outrage about Will Smith’s slap is rooted in anti-Blackness,” Bero wrote. “It’s inequality in plain sight.”
“Most people agree the slap shouldn’t have happened. But there’s something that feels precious at best, and downright racist at worst, about white people’s reaction to the now-infamous smack,” she continued, referencing certain overreactions in the moments after the incident.
Some of the examples included Hollywood director Judd Apatow’s now-deleted tweet in which he claimed Smith “could have killed” Rock; shock jock Howard Stern’s ignorant comparison of Smith to former President Donald Trump (who, as far as we know, has never publicly slapped anyone), and “white women on Twitter somehow decid[ing] that Smith’s actions meant he must be beating his wife.”
white people see a Black man defend his wife’s honor on national tv and immediately jump to “he must be beating his wife”. like yeah okay thats not a racist train of thought or anything…. pic.twitter.com/GtkWktZfOB
— super insaiyan (@MugiwaraNoGod) March 28, 2022
“It would seem that there’s a layer of hyper-violence that’s being projected on to Smith simply because he is a Black man who was defending his Black wife,” Bero assessed, without explaining why no one is to think that publicly b-slapping someone not in self-defense is okay or that it’s not a crime, regardless of skin color.
She went on to claim that “this kind of performative pearl-clutching is only ever reserved for Black men who mess up,” and took issue with the repeated “punching down on Black women.”
That latter line of thinking was repeated by senior diversity, equity, and inclusion contributor Janice Gassam Asare on Monday in a column for Forbes.
“Why are jokes always at the expense of Black women?” she claimed. “America’s favorite public sport is berating Black women; it has become social currency. There is a long history of Black women and femmes being dishonored, disrespected, denigrated, and degraded, especially within Hollywood.”
What all of this really sounds like is more of the same kind of excuses we hear from others: That if you’re a black person, you are above reproach and that if anyone who isn’t black criticizes anything a black person does — including committing an obvious crime live on television — that it’s racism and thus, that criticism is invalid.
Now for a thought exercise: Imagine if a white actor had gone on stage and smacked Chris Rock under similar circumstances — would the responses by these same people defending Smith be identical? Or would that white male actor be canceled immediately by Hollywood and banished from the industry?
You know the answer, don’t you?