So Will Smith punched Chris Rock at the Oscars last night

The Academy needs to:

  • kick Will Smith out of the Academy
  • take back the Oscar and declare “no prize” for Best Actor in 2022

I was surprised to see this. Richard Williams can be a gigantic jerk, to be honest. I’m surprised he didn’t support and defend Smith, but kudos to Richard Williams.

Not disagreeing with your comments, but more using them to add to this specific part of the discussion.

I’m conflicted here…now. When it was happening, all I could think was how is he not being escorted out. I was incredulous.

But, this was a bizarre and unprecedented situation - and an “in-between” situation. For clarity, imagine an active shooter - clearly a “security” issue. No need for academy/suits to sign off or get involved in that. Now imagine a drunk guest (or similar) - clearly an academy/suits situation (eg, suit tells security to go remove that guest; or suit says, no, that’s fine, just monitor).

Here, it’s kind of both. Especially in the moment as it’s happening. Here are Factors that made it confusing: Not clear whether it was staged or not; once that’s super clear, is there an ongoing problem anymore? Probably not, everything settled down. Rock is gone/didn’t escalate. Smith is sitting down. So really it’s just punishment at this point (ie, you did something very wrong so you should have to leave); and then, honestly, it’s Will Smith at the Oscars as a nominee.

With all that, I understand not forcibly removing him in the 30mins they had to make that decision on the fly. To be clear, I believe that should have happened, but I understand why it did not on that moment.

Just my thoughts. Hopefully it becomes clear what behavior will not be tolerated and the consequences of that type of behavior.

I think what this show desperately needs is a single host with the authority of a producer. When stuff like this happens, someone with common sense and comedy chops could have told the PA, “Get Smith out of here” and taken the stage to lower the tension while that was being done.

I get that the decision to potentially drag a Black man out the door against his will as he was likely about to win a Best Actor Oscar might have been optics not chosen.

But I would have thought that it was always clear that assaulting a presenter over a perceived insult of your wife is in the group of behavior that will not be tolerated. That there is question about that dumbfounds.

Well, he in fact HAD been voted the award.

The award is a recognition of the fact that his peers voted it to him for his performance. That remains a thing that happened, whatever else he did. Smith’s Oscar would be a weird place to start taking away Oscars for bad behaviour.

So. . .Will Smith publicly assaulted (who I thought was) a well-liked comedian/actor on international live television, repeatedly used the one word you definitely cannot use on prime-time television, then was asked to leave and said, “No, I think I’ll stay.” Crazily, this works. Next, he was given Best Actor Oscar and allowed to give the longest speech allowed, probably, in my lifetime, if not the history of the awards - a rambling, crazy, narcissistic speech at that. Finally he was given not one, but two standing ovations by the group of Hollywood stars that had witnessed everything.

Now, many of said Hollywood stars seem to be defending him, rather than coming down on the side of the man who was publicly assaulted.

Why am I surprised? It’s been evident for years there are two standards for law and behavior in this country - one for the rich and famous, and one for the poors. Only the latter ever really have to suffer consequences for anything, and the former will back their kind to the hilt. I guess the only surprise to me is how quickly they abandoned Chris Rock, who I thought was better loved and respected than he now seems to be. Attacking one of their own seems to be the only time the rich and famous suffer consequences.

A shameful night, and a shameful aftermath. Some sort of disciplinary action from the academy may follow, eventually, but I suspect it will be a slap on the wrist.

So the Academy asked them to leave and he said “no”, so they just shrugged and said there was nothing they could do?

Suddenly the allegations that the same group of people are in charge of both Hollywood and the Democratic Party make more sense!

The Smiths are richer, more connected, and have more production influence than Mr Rock. Relative to them he is one of the poors. That is the beginning and the end of the calculation.

Richard Williams has some degree of good sense and damn right he’s going to say “oh, no, don’t go suggesting that was following my example!”

And really, man, do this in the middle of the award show? If he felt he just HAD to take it there, Smith could have later backstage gone up to Rock and said, “WTF, a-hole?” and if they wanted to throw drinks or punches they could have and nobody’s night would have been ruined except the two of them’s.

Not gonna happen.

OTOH if we want a host who’ll destroy the conceit behind the show itself with style, I hear Ricky Gervais is available.

Yeah… and I guess they would have needed then to quickly redesign the broadcast to make that award happened during a commercial break and press someone to “accept on his behalf”. Deprive him of the moment of glory. And I fear half the Hollywood press would be decrying that as the worst thing that happened.

Just because there is a blow-by-blow account/commentary doesn’t mean we can’t discuss it here. Just saying.

Did anyone see how Will laughed at the joke?

Yes, as I said, " I thought was better loved and respected than he now seems to be." I didn’t properly allow for how much more money and influence the Smiths have. Perhaps also I allowed my personal fondness for Rock’s work to color my perception of his status. I said that fame and money let you get away with almost anything these days, but power and influence trumps all.

You said it well, Face-Intentionally

I used to love Will Smith. After this, no longer. Chris Rock was doing his job. He’s a comic! Will initially laughed at the joke but Jada hated it. Oh btw, she said hours before that she just has to laugh at her condition. I guess not!

Seconding that. The post Face_Intentionally put up about 20 minutes ago should be on the editorial pages of major newspapers–it’s both articulate and comprehensive.

I remain disturbed by those standing ovations. I hope they haunt those who offered them.

eta: fast-moving thread, so here’s a link to the post I’m referring to:

Chris Rock just did his first show tonight in Boston. Any reports yet what he said? I’m sure he addressed it.

Will Packer produced Girls Trip, in which Jada Pinkett Smith co-starred. But Will Packer didn’t tell Will Smith to slap Chris Rock, and Will Packer didn’t tell the Academy not to throw Smith out of the theater after they asked Smith to leave and he refused, so I’m not sure what point is being made upthread.

Well, I’m not sure I’d go quite that far. Chris Rock is rich. Will Smith and family are considerably richer. But at that level the difference between a few tens of millions and few hundreds of millions isn’t nothing, but it also isn’t huge. And Chris Rock is well-liked and also pretty connected. I don’t think it is a wash, but I also doubt it is THE driving factor. I think inertia around the bad behavior of celebrities in general probably plays as much of a role.

I think there is an attempt to say (without actually saying) something much more dire than that. What could we see from a photograph of the producer except their gender and their ethnicity. We are supposed to draw unspeakable conclusions from one or both of those characteristics. What conclusions would be unspeakable here?

Now I’ll be the one asking everyone to draw their own conclusions about what @Cartooniverse was trying to say without saying.

Modnote: please keep the political jabs out of the Café.