You have probably seen the video, heard all the different opinions and maybe (like me) tired of talking about the oscars.
On Sunday evening, Actor Will Smith and Comedian Chris Rock found themselves in an altercation after Chris Rock making a distasteful joke about Jada Pickett Smith.
The joke was centered off of Jada’s Alopecia journey, where she has been nothing but graceful and vulnerable with the rest of the world about her experience.
Now there is a lot of talk on who is right? And who is not but I am not here to focus on that. What I will say is, I do not condone violence in any form and believe that there were many other ways around this.
I am here to counter the narrative of “two black men being aggressive” furthering the stereotypes of the Black community. What happened in this moment, is simply a Black man risking his chance of winning an Oscar to stand up for his wife – a notion not too many people are used to because we have normalized the culture of constantly demeaning Black women.
This was a situation were two Black men were being human. Are Black people not allowed to be human?
Let us not forget that the Oscars Academy is a predominantly white institution, and the treatment Will Smith is unfair and just, if you consider there are “greats” who have been boo’d off stage for demanding equality pay, “greats” who have sexually assaulted other, “greats” – dare I say – who have even murdered others, but what repercussions did they receive?
The Academy is deeply rooted in racism and it is time that they get called out for it. The fact that Will Smith, one of the greatest Black actors in Hollywood, is risking expulsion from the Academy when others have been left free speaks volume.
However, I will say that I am disappointed in Chris Rock. Whether or not he wrote the joke, he had the choice to not say it. There are so many things to keep in mind: Jada’s honesty about her journey, the Crown Act which was recently passed and my favourite, the irony that played because Chris Rock produced a documentary about Black women called “Good Hair.”
If anyone should understand the struggles of Black women, it would be him. The fact that the Crown Act just recently passed, is enough proof that Black women have been discriminated against their hair for so long, that a law was finally put in place to make it illegal.
It’s high time there needs to be more work done to combat anti-blackness. It is no secret that is more of a systemic issue. We already know that the media space is heavily dominated by white people, thus giving them the upper hand to spew dangerous narratives.