Reality is a ‘slap in the face’

Oscars outburst sparks conversation


Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock across the face at the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony on March 27.

Alexa Davis, Features Editor

Most social media users are accustomed to seeing celebrities on their feed, whether it be photos from a recent award show or daily updates on a superstar’s life. However, where do people draw the line of celebrities taking up too much spotlight, and why do celebrities get unique treatment compared to normal, everyday citizens?

On March 27, the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony, popularly known as the Oscars, was held. Every year, the show is an enormous event watched by millions of people all over the world. The Oscars are held to award the best actors, actresses and technical producers in the film industry.

This year, comedian Chris Rock was the host of the event. Comedians can oftentimes offend listeners because everyone comprehends jokes in different ways, which was the case with actor Will Smith. 

Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, recently brought to light her struggles with alopecia, which is a disease that causes hair loss and balding. Pinkett Smith shaved her head due to her medical condition. Rock made a joke comparing Pinkett Smith to G.I. Jane, which is a movie starring Demi Moore, who shaved her head to fill the role. Pinkett Smith was offended by Rock’s comparison and heavily rolled her eyes; Smith, on the other hand, chuckled at the joke, until he saw his wife’s expression. Smith then walked up on stage and slapped Rock right across the face. 

This outburst absolutely broke the internet. In fact, it was covered on the news for a fairly significant period of time. Even a few days after the Academy Awards, replays of the slap were being broadcast on television, posted on social media and articles were written about it on news sites. 

Don’t the reactions to this event seem a little shallow considering there are real, important events occurring daily? Ukraine is still suffering from Russia’s wrath, but over in America, people are laughing and creating memes about a slap in the face at an award show. 

This event is an example of how celebrities get off the hook in many scenarios. Any other person would have been charged for assault, but Rock decided not to press charges. All of the publicity and the fact that Smith suffered no consequences from his actions led viewers to believe the slap was staged. 

In other instances, famous YouTube and TikTok stars will pull pranks as a joke, but the jokes are not found funny by the people who are being pranked. Viewers laugh at the videos, but if the pranks happened to them in real life, they would be upset. These actions are only found acceptable when celebrities, with a lot of fans, perform the actions. If any everyday common person pulled pranks or acted as celebrities do, they would be looked at and judged very differently.

Many defend Smith by stating that he was just defending his wife. However, the route of “defense” he took was not the right reaction. Violence is not the solution, especially when no one is under a physical threat. Due to his actions, Smith resigned from the Academy and even received a 10-year ban from the Oscars. 

All in all, Smith’s outburst took over the media for days on end. People need to step back and look at how insignificant events really are before making a big deal about them. Celebrities should be held to the same standards as any typical person. There are more important issues going on in the world today than the new gossip dealing with celebrities.