Will Smith’s Oscar ‘delivery’ is symptomatic of a cancel culture gone wild – Reuters

The ‘Oscars slap’ that resonated around the world is just another side of a growing problem

Comedian Chris Rock’s Oscar-attacked performance by Will Smith reveals something fundamentally wrong, even sick, about American society, overwhelmed as it is by violence and cancel culture.

For those who missed the best primetime television in many years, comedian Chris Rock, while performing a routine at the 94th Academy Awards, cracked a lame joke about actor Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Jada, I can’t wait for GI Jane 2,” he joked, a reference to the woman’s shaved head due to hair loss caused by an autoimmune disease she suffers from.

Seen laughing at first, Smith, realizing his wife wasn’t favorably impressed at being the butt of a joke, walked up on stage and gave a resounding slap in the side of Rock’s face. Smith then returned to his front-row seat, where he made profanity-filled comments. Perhaps the only thing that saved the situation from requiring the National Guard was Rock’s remarkable ability to keep the show going.

Smith’s behavior was so shocking that – in addition to momentarily stopping talk of World War III in its tracks – many viewers were convinced it was a publicity stunt, an event set in motion. stage to increase the number of sagging viewers of the first American bonfire of the vanities. Will Smith may be a good actor, but he’s not that good. That fact is that we wandered precariously far from our grandparents — even from our parents — in America’s halcyon days.

Smith’s erratic behavior serves as a metaphor for a nation now tearing itself apart with wanton violence, much of which was spawned by Hollywood itself, and not just with the diabolical, bloodstained productions it churns out every year. .

Consider the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, for example, which saw scores of looters, arsonists and thieves – responsible for a billion-dollar wave of destruction of private property that stretched from coast to coast. other – being released from prison thanks to the benevolent intervention of Hollywood actors like Seth Rogen, Steve Carell and Ben Schwartz (who can all afford to live in high-security gated communities, by the way), who fortunately bailed out of their incarceration. What kind of example does this set for society, especially the most criminal?

And what about Jussie Smollett? In 2019, this Hollywood actor staged a hate crime against himself, sending the overworked Chicago Police Department on a hunt for ‘white supremacists’ who only existed in his feverish imagination. What price did Smollett pay for hiring two Nigerian brothers to stage a racially violent crime scene, which included the highly provocative plot of a noose? On March 10, Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in county jail. However, his lawyers immediately appealed, posted bail, and today the young man is already back on the streets.

Then there’s California – the decadent citadel of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and defunct liberal politics – where law enforcement has practically become a crime unto itself. Today is just another day in the neighborhood to see gangs of young hoodlums emptying stores of goods as shop assistants helplessly watch. This new craze among misguided miscreants was inspired by an amendment to California’s legal code — actually an invitation — that says stealing goods worth $950 or less is just a misdemeanor. The next thing we’ll likely see are various Bloods and Crips having nervous vendors call in their wares just to make sure they haven’t committed a crime.

The madness has gotten so out of control that many liberals call these coordinated thefts an acceptable form of “reparations” for the slavery that African Americans were forced to endure decades ago (which the argument doesn’t take taken into account, however, aside from pure logic, is that many young white people also participate in the “five-finger cuts”).

While the “Oscars incident” can’t be simplified as a race issue, sadly, that’s exactly where the mainstream media is leading the discussion. In response to the spectacle of two black celebrities in the spotlight for undesirable reasons, it was only a matter of time before “white privilege” – the one-size-fits-all solution to any social problem – was kicked in and kicked out. shouting in conversation.

Tayo Bero, columnist for The Guardian, argued that, “White outrage over Will Smith’s slap is rooted in anti-Blackness”, before saying that she had trouble understanding that “The same white audiences that consume on-screen violence against black people to an almost fetishistic degree…are so upset by an open-palm slap.”

In other words, I guess we should be thankful that Will Smith just slapped Rock. It seems like Bero conveniently forgets that violence in movies is one thing, but actual aggression against another person is an entirely different animal. In fact, the police even asked Rock if he wanted to press charges against Smith, but the comedian understandably refused.

Behind this debate is something that has been carelessly overlooked, it seems, and that is the deranged “cancel culture” that much of the Western world has been forced to inhabit. Comedy, as Chris Rock painfully discovered, is no longer the fun occupation it once was. Sure, laughing at someone’s life-altering illness is in terrible taste, but when has bad taste ever stopped comedy? It should be a crowd booing affair, not physical assault. The bar for human stupidity has been raised at the Oscars to another level, and no doubt some fools will be tempted to see Will Smith’s example of “heroism” and raise it a few extra feet.

This goes beyond the mere concern of comedians, of course, who are now forced, like everyone else, to navigate the unpredictable terrain of people’s ever-changing “feelings.” There’s a push now to make it a hate crime for carelessly addressing someone with the wrong gender pronoun, for example, of which there now seem to be hundreds.

In some ways, Will Smith has come across as the personification of omnipotent government or society that today enforces its mighty will whenever someone is offended. Criminals are tired of being caught, we move on to funding police departments; students feel frustrated when they can’t pass their math exams, we propose to cancel math axioms; a comedian offends our sensibility, we storm the stage and punch him in the mouth.

In this crazy matrix of virtue signals that we have let build around us like a cage, whoever shouts the loudest and makes the most noise wins. And it’s the same rule for social media. The precedent of intolerance has been set. Users are not only reprimanded for the crime of “evil thinking”, they are literally disappearing every day for expressing opinions that are not in line with those of the liberal overlords who now control this virtual prison planet like the Wizard of Oz. behind the curtain, manipulating the dials of his mystical algorithms.

Today, our social interaction, which once happened face-to-face, has been reduced to that of a social media “user”, with everyone able to create their own island of like-minded people; God forbid a dissenting voice slips into the ether and disturbs our peace. And when we’re forced to face criticism, different thoughts, or even real-world jokes — in the case of Will Smith, at the Oscars — we may be forced to strike like, well, Will Smith.

We have forgotten how to accept criticism because our sanitized and isolated world, supported by cancel culture zealots with heavy axes to grind, no longer tolerates it. Meanwhile, we have forgotten in our relative isolation from our fellow human beings that there is no “block” button in the real world, just millions of prison cells waiting to be filled.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


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