The Will Smith Smack: The Leading Man’s Reckoning With Toxic Masculinity

Written by Luke Barnes

I am writing this piece in response to the events that took place on Oscars night, regarding Will Smith and Chris Rock so I can better explain my thoughts on the matter. To look ahead, Smith comes across as bad in various different dimensions.

I read somewhere after the fact that the biggest loser at the Oscars was Jada Pickett Smith, now what that article meant was that by getting up there and smacking Chris Rock her husband Will Smith made the whole thing about himself, he took her struggle and her power and made it about his own ego. I think, as I have said to some people, it would have been more effective for Smith to have said nothing and to have picked his moment, such as during his acceptance speech, to talk about his wife and her struggles and how proud he is of her, not only would this have shown him to be the bigger person but it would have also vastly eclipsed Rock’s comments. As it stands all Smith has done for his wife is simply amplify the issue and subjected them both to the Streisand effect, which for those unaware is when one’s actions to get people to stop  talking about a thing in fact make them talk about it more.

Moreover, by physically assaulting Chris Rock Smith has proven himself to be classless, which in turn will effect how not just the industry sees him but also those who go to watch his films. There is a good reason his publicist immediately went to talk to him; he has damaged his image. Now do I think he will lose his Oscar, no, probably not, but I do think in the battle for hearts and minds he has shot himself in the foot. Why? Well, because violence is never the answer, certainly not in this context wherein Smith’s actions upstaged the whole night and stole the limelight away from everyone else-his wife included.  

Lastly, consider this: some look towards celebrities to set an example for how they should behave and in that regard Smith’s actions are especially dangerous. Who is to say next week someone who watched the Oscars won’t go to a comedy set and hear a joke they don’t like and then walk up on stage, or more likely wait around afterwards, to hit the comic just like Smith did. Now in such a case I am not saying Smith would be responsible, but I am saying that as someone with a fanbase and as someone with influence he should think about the example he is setting and not behave in such an unprofessional manner.

If you enjoyed this article, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s