Unless you’re living in Russia (where news suppression and censorship are taken to the extreme), you’ll know the story suddenly dominating world headlines is not the bombs being dropped by Putin on the innocent people of Ukraine. Nay, it’s the ‘F’ bomb (and the slap) dropped by Will Smith on Chris Rock!
In what appears to be the biggest shock at the Oscars since 1955 when Grace Kelly pipped Judy Garland for ‘best actress,’ Smith reacted violently to Rock’s cruel comparison of wife Jada’s medical condition to that of shaven-headed fictional movie character G.I. Jane by walloping him in the face! (For the record, Smith has apologised to Rock on Instagram).
Jada, who has been pretty open about her struggles with alopecia, saying how “terrifying” she has found losing her hair, first debuted her ‘shaved-head’ look – which, by the way, is absolutely stunning on her – last summer. However, it’s clear that Rock’s attempt to disparage Will’s wife by wrapping her alopecia in a cloak of fun and frivolity in a bid to get a cheap laugh didn’t sit well with Will, and that’s understandable.
However, did Jada need her husband to defend her? I mean, isn’t she, like most women (myself included), capable of defending herself when some insensitive idiot expands the bounds of acceptable behaviour by making a joke at her expense?
Then again, if someone made a tasteless joke about me, I’d hope he-who’s-extremely-laid-back would want to stand up for me! However, I’d be furious if he made a public spectacle of himself by reacting (as Smith did) like a male dog marking his territory, hitting another man and claiming me as his ‘woman’ in some bizarre toxic masculinity, ‘me Tarzan, you Jane’ scenario!
On a personal level (and for the sake of balance and objectivity), while I empathise with Jada and believe Rock’s joke was cruel, I’m also someone who’s sick to the teeth of political correctness. I understand that as a comedian, Rock was merely doing his job, and there’s a real fear that being ‘woke’ will not just stifle comedy, but may ultimately result in the death of it.
For the sake of clarity, there’s a bit of history behind this assault (inappropriate though it was). Smith and Rock have allegedly been feuding ever since the latter took a snipe at the former’s wife for boycotting the 2016 Oscars over what she views as its lack of diversity. To that end, I’m assuming Will’s anger has probably been simmering and he felt the time had now come to take action. But did that action need to be a scandalous slap, and wouldn’t a strongly worded, sarcastic statement taking a snipe at Rock have sufficed?
Better still, couldn’t Smith have done his wife the courtesy of having her own say in her own way, as opposed to erasing her right to react? As this was Jada’s fight, perhaps she could regain control by leaping into damage limitation mode and using her unique social position, go on Oprah and manipulate Rock’s ignorant remarks by using them against him to advocate and raise awareness for people with alopecia – should she so choose!
Mind you, it’s admirable to see that despite their much publicised, turbulent, and (according to themselves) ‘unconventional’ marriage, Smith still feels protective towards the mother of his children. For that, I salute him.
However (and I know opinion is divided here), I personally feel that if Will had more respect for Jada, he’d have treated her as an intelligent woman, a grown-up, and an individual in her own right, not consigned her standing to that of ‘my wife,’ or ‘my chattel’. Instead of making the issue all about him, he’d have taken his cue from her and waited to see if and how she wanted to react, and if and how she wanted to defend the ‘stain’ he clearly felt Rock had cast on her honour.
Whichever way you look at this unfortunate incident, my thoughts are with the beautiful lady at the centre of this unsavoury affair… Jada Pinkett-Smith. Not only is she dealing with the emotional fallout of this outrageous ‘slap down’, but it seems that it, and her bizarre ‘open’ marriage situation (which is her own business), have provided further grist to the juicy Hollywood gossip mill.
Support your local charity ‘ride-out’ for Bumbleance this weekend!
Calling all bikers! Would you like to help make a difference to sick and critically ill children and their families who often face stressful situations when getting to and from hospital appointments? Yes? Then read on.
This Sunday, April 3rd, marks a charity bike ride for Bumbleance, the world’s first ambulance service designed especially for children. Kicking off at 10 am (from Casey’s Circle K, Roscommon town, F42 RY88), the ride-out will begin at midday (12 noon), with a registration fee of €20 per bike!
The route will go from Roscommon to Mayo and Galway and back again. However, riders will be stopping in Roundfort in Mayo at Thomas Lyons’ Bar, for refreshments. I’ve never been on one of these runs myself, however I’m reliably informed that this establishment has “been a major support during previous runs”, so fair play to them.
A shout out also goes to organiser Mr Vinny Healy, and the ‘set up’ committee, one of which is Tom Rumley. Tom, a lovely local man, would not only like to thank Rossies for their support, he’s also inviting “anyone who wishes to see the bikers and wave them off on their way”, to feel free to do so at Casey’s on Sunday morning.
An insult to Ireland – or were Zelensky’s comments simply lost in translation?
Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, even comparing him to my hero Michael Collins. However, his apparent criticism of our little island, for allegedly not doing enough to help his country’s bid to join the EU really upset me.
I have enormous respect for Mr Zelensky and I think he’s doing a wonderful job. That being said, I feel that in playing down his remark that Ireland is ‘almost’ supporting Ukraine as it battles the Russian invasion, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has done us, and all those who’ve opened their homes and their hearts to those fleeing for their very lives, a grave disservice.
I do understand that Mr Zelensky has more pressing issues on his mind right now. I get it. However, perhaps if he understood how despite not being able to afford to put fuel in our cars, Irish people don’t, for one second, begrudge spending ‘hundreds of millions of euro’ in our bid to provide sanctuary for his people in their hour of need, he wouldn’t be so cavalier with his comments!
Instead of grovelling, Micheál Martin should have made it abundantly clear to Mr Zelensky how, as a nation appalled by Putin’s unlawful invasion of his country, we’ve abandoned our own constitutionally neutral stance and thrown every bit of support (bar lethal methods) his way.
Then again, as I want to be fair, and I want to continue to believe in Mr Zelensky, because I think he’s amazing, I’d like to think that maybe the comedian-turned-statesman’s remarks were somehow lost in translation. Either that, or nobody’s fully informed him how wonderful we are!