Whew! It was not the Academy Award presentation that I expected, that anyone expected.
On the one hand, I was elated that “CODA” won for Best Picture and Troy Kotsur from that film for Best Supporting Actor. Queen Beyonce killed it with the big opening number, loved Ariana DeBose’s dress and speech and win, etc. The Academy robbed some people’s moment in the spotlight by recording their win and editing their acceptance speech for later replay, while the show ran over three and a half hours (typically long) anyway.
But it’s the other hand that everybody is talking about the day after, the hand of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock across the face, then yelling a profanity. Rock had several jokes before presenting Best Documentary Feature (where the winner, Questlove, was totally overshadowed). Rock is a COMEDIAN, he did what was expected. His humor was not as pointed as somebody like Ricky Gervais. Rock made a joke about Will Smith’s wife nearly bald haircut. The wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, suffers from a disease giving her hair loss. This apparently hit a raw nerve, and, apparently, Rock had chided Ms. Smith years ago about boycotting the Oscars. So Will Smith came onstage, slapped Chris Rock across the face, then from his seat yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth!” It was ugly. Chris did not press charges. The Academy said it doesn’t condone violence, but took no action against Smith. Minutes later Will Smith won, as expected, as Best Actor for another fine performance. His acceptance speech spoke about how he feels “the burden of being the protector.” (Backstory: Smith’s mother was physically abused by his father. He felt guilty for not protecting her, but he was only a small child. He wrote extensively about this in his recent autobiography, how he felt like a coward from this experience, how he now feels like he must be the instrument to protect black women.) In his speech, he apologized to the Academy, but not to Chris Rock.
Nothing like this has (thankfully) ever happened at the Oscars before. But it made me reflect late into the night. I give selected others permission to slap me (I prefer the bottom to the face). It excites me sexually, it’s TTWD. Some others think I’m very strange for liking this, enjoying the butt bruises, having fetishized this. So the issue is on my mind a lot. I hate aggression, however. The world is dealing with the naked aggression by a male, resulting in Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine right now, for the last month, for the foreseeable future.
I thought I’d be reflecting here on how great Ariana DeBose looked in her hot red dress, or Lily James in her pink one. (Her bared bottom has been featured on this blog in the past, that’s why I singled her out.) Events changed the focus. I give consent to being bared and having my bottom beaten good and hard. Aggression, particularly that macho male type that makes certain individuals think that they are the sheriff of the world, pisses me off, should be called-out. Will Smith should not get away with his wrong, aggressive behavior with impunity.
Trying to laugh about it after the fact.