So Will Smith punched Chris Rock at the Oscars last night

Did they rape or steal at the Oscars, shortly before getting a standing ovation for winning an award?

I don’t know why you’re phrasing this as past tense…

I should also say separating his performance with striking Rock is something Smith, himself, wasn’t doing. In his (rambling and self serving acceptance speech) Smith directly said he was protecting his family like he imagines how Richard Williams would. A direct line from his performance to hitting/threatening Rock at the Oscars.

Does it not happening onscrean mean it isn’t as rapey? And I am not certain why you are asking why I am phrasing it in past tense? One can only go forth ignoring his future performance in a reboot of Mad Max with Will Smith as Mad Max because it has not yet been made. [or whatever film he will make in the future that you may choose to watch or ignore because of his now known propensity to slap out comedians onstage. I think the French have a verb tense for this. Ghu knows they seem to have a tense for pretty much any action past, present or future or any combination of the same, I seem to remember having to memorize one that was something like ‘If whatever m ight have happened in the future in the past if sidewise in an different universe’ Some were pretty specifically arcane. Or maybe the damned teacher was tormenting us for fun.]

No. That was obviously not my point, one which I’d already expounded upon in an earlier post.

Your post implies the casting couch no longer exists and starlets aren’t still being exploited. Nothing to do with Smith.

If Smith had won an award for Best Audience Member, yeah, take it away.

Or maybe you think that, because he behaved badly at the ceremony, that somehow altered how skillful his performance in King Richard was?


Will Smith joins Marky Mark on the list of celebrities at whom I look askance.

No, I think it alters (or should have altered) the relationship he has with the Academy that is choosing to recognize him.

Once again - it’s not like he won a lottery prize and is entitled to the award no matter what. It’s the Academy’s to give out, not his to claim, right up until they announce it.

If he had been a presenter earlier and launched into a 15-minute profanity-laced diatribe about how the Academy is a shitty institution, how the auditors suck donkey dick, all the other presenters are stooges, women can’t direct, what’s up with all these handicapped actors in here, etc, do you think they would have been within their rights to withdraw him from consideration for the award later that night?

I can just imagine the shit show that would happen if the Academy took away an Oscar from a black man for engaging in misdemeanor battery while keeping the Oscars for a bunch of white old men rapists.

Hell, Chris Rock may even make a joke about how racist that was.

To unpack - let us revoke all Best Director/Best Producer [is that a category?] who in the past have raped via casting couch. Going forth, to be considered for best whatever, poll all members to see if that person uses the casting couch to rape, has been known to rape, and omit them from the polling. Better? And males have been subjected to rape/casting couch - the 2 Coreys as an example.

Exactly my point. Either he did a kick ass performance and deserves the Oscar, or he sucked and doesn’t deserve it. His performance in the film predated the Oscar ceremony, so one can’t watch the film and not vote for him because of an action that had not yet happened.

Rather that someone who assaults someone during the ceremony is no longer eligible to be considered for an award. All awards have eligibility requirements. There’s no absolute right to receive a prize. And these prizes are subjective anyway.

I have a question. Does it matter that he used his platform/prize/speech/performance to defend striking Rock? Should have the Academy not allowed that, knowing full he’s defending what he did on live stage minutes before?

For the record, I would also be happy if all those Oscars were revoked, too.

I wasn’t arguing with the notion, just the tense.

You’re the one who specifically referenced “starlets” first, so can the pseudo-indignation at my use of the same gendered term in replying to you.

If the Academy decides to bar Will Smith from their annual award, they need to reconcile that with their treatment of the truly terrible people they’ve happily given awards to.

If these eligibility requirements are already in place, sure. But I don’t think they should retroactively create and then enforce a rule that didn’t exist prior to the incident.

To be honest, though, what Smith did was so ugly I wouldn’t put up a fuss if they revoked his award.


Which is interesting given that Richard Williams condemned what Will Smith did:

So he really was not behaving like Richard Williams at that moment.


According to a BBC report I heard on the radio, the Academy has said that is what should have happened. Their excuse was that the people who would have had to agree to ejecting Smith from the theater or barring him from the stage were seated too far apart and didn’t have a chance to do so. I’m not sure the excuse is legit, but I’m pretty sure that if the Academy had a time machine, Smith would have been shown the door immediately and his award would have been accepted on his behalf by the presenter with no comment.

I have no problem with retroactively changing rules, for any award or contest. In fact, I think we should do more of that. I think we should, for example, retroactively revoke any and all governmental and military honors for people who we now know did reprehensible things.

While true that you can independently criticize each act, you cannot and should not divorce them. They are linked and part of the same incident. It’s up to the observer as to whether the former justifies or mitigates the latter, and if charged, it’s up to a grand jury.

There’s a good reason why we have things like self-defense as a justification for all kinds of violent acts. Context often mitigates the severity or wrongness of an act. The slap was not warranted or justified by this specific joke, but there are certainly things Rock could have said and done which would have justified it in the eyes of a jury of his peers.

I completely disagree with this. I know statements like this feel good when the system doesn’t give you the result you want, but there are lots of scenarios where a legal system stepping in to charge and try people without the input of the victim could have horrible results. We don’t live in a black and white world. At the minimal end of the spectrum a lot of victims might find the hardship of participating in a trial, which can take months and cost lots of money in terms of missed work and travel expenses would be a much greater hardship that simply moving on from some minor altercation. At the more extreme end, lives can be destroyed because the details of an incident is made public.

Discretion is a good thing. I can be abused, and that’s a problem we should solve, but we all should be happy that the legal system is not robotic.

And there are lots of scenarios where the legal system should be stepping in for a victim because their declining to proceed is coerced, whether through fear or concern about other potential consequences.

That’s not necessary if the State does its job properly in a case like this one.

Errm, more public than on an international TV show?

Which is also why I said prosecution, not conviction. There is a clear case to be made here for at least an investigation.

The problem with that is that it can put the victim in an adversarial position with the state that’s trying to prosecute, and American prosecutors are not happy when someone gets between them and pumping up their conviction rates.