Monday 28 March 2022

Why Will Smith should consider anger management counselling

The Oscars were the last thing I thought I'd be blogging about this morning, but I really couldn't let the Will Smith/Chris Rock incident pass without comment. I've watched the footage of his slap on Chris Rock several times. First off, lets deal with Chris Rock.  It just isn't funny to humiliate someone who has a condition that they clearly find devastating and embarrassing. To do it on stage at an awads ceremony is even worse. Back in the mid 1980's my big sister Valerie had a terrible accident that required eight hours of brain surgery, that required the shaving of half of her head. Previously she'd had long flowing locks and and was devasated when she emerged from the coma and looked in the mirror. That was a temporary condition, but she found it hard to go out with half of her head shaved and a big scar. I can only imaging how much worse it is for someone who knows the hair isn't coming back. Imagine having your nose rubbed in it at what is meant to be a celebration? The argument is that comedians are meant to be controversial is a very out of date one. We no longer tolerate racist comedians, why should we tolerate mocking people with aolopecia and other such conditions that cause embarrassment at awards ceremonies. It wasn't a comedy club, where you choose to go and you know you are in the firing line.

As to Will Smith, he needs to take a long hard look at himself. If he'd controlled his anger, walked on stage, taken the mic and said "Many women have alopecia and for them it is a very difficult matter. We should not be humiliating them. The academy should not tolerate this and if Chris is a man he'll apologise" it would have been far more powerful. As it was, he just seemed like a bloke with anger issues who can't behave himself and doesn't know how to deal with issues like an adult. The talk is not about the real issue but about badly behaved men.

Would Will Smith have slapped Chris Rock if he'd been twice his size as opposed to physically smaller. All of the people who say "Will Smith was right to hit him, he was out of order" may want to consider the bigger picture. Men don't start fights if they think they will lose and get a good beating. Intelligent people use words to resolve disputes. If we accept that violence is the best way to settle disputes, we accept that the frail and weak have no recourse.  When I was younger, I had issues with anger. I'd overreact. I'm not a violent person, but I'd behave in a very stupid manner when I believed I was right. As a result I had anger management counselling thirty years ago, as I realised I was not dealing with situations properly.  This made me realise that over reacting was not a sign of strength but weakness and you can transform a situation where you are in the right to one where you are very much in the wrong by letting anger cloud your judgement. This is exactly what Smith did last night.

Will Smith should consider anger management counselling. For many he is an iconic figure. He has a platform, what he chose to do was make his point in the worst possible way and totally waste the opportunity to make a very valid point. In this world, we need icons who are calm and deal with issues in a rational way and set an example. I think the Oscar organising committee should take a long, hard look at themselves and consider how they organise their awards. You would think that "Don't belittle people or draw attention to any conditions they may find embarrassing" would be part of the contract for the host presenter. It ain't rocket science.

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