It was the slap heard around the world.
This year’s Academy Awards – AKA the Oscars – had a shocking plot twist more dramatic than any of the films nominated that night.
In case you missed it – although it’s highly unlikely you did – Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
Pinkett Smith’s husband, Will Smith, took umbrage at the remark and went up to smack Rock in the face on stage.
Smith went on to win Best Actor and apologised for his actions in his acceptance speech. However, he did not mention Rock by name.
On Tuesday (29 Mar), Smith finally took to social media to post a public apology directed at Rock.
In his Facebook post, Smith called violence “poisonous and destructive”. He also acknowledged that his actions at the ceremony were “unacceptable and inexcusable”.
He added that he couldn’t bear jabs about his wife’s autoimmune disease, which causes hair loss:
Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.
“I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line, and I was wrong. I am embarrassed, and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” wrote Smith.
Here is his full statement:
Fortunately for Smith, Rock will not be pressing charges against him for the assault, reports CNN.
The debacle spawned numerous discussions on which party was in the wrong. While many agree that it was insensitive of Rock to poke fun at Pinkett Smith’s illness, Smith still shouldn’t have resorted to violence.
One local public figure who has weighed in on the saga is Education Minister Chan Chun Sing. He said that children often ask him what they should do when others make fun of them or their family.
Mr Chan then recalled “a very good response” from a child he spoke with:
By not allowing ourselves to be victimised and saddened by such unkind words or deeds, we counter the perpetrators’ attempts to create misery in others for their purposes.
In other words, Mr Chan seems to be saying that Smith should have taken the high road and reacted to Rock’s jab more calmly.
It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when someone says something hurtful about our loved ones. However, reacting with violence should not be condoned.
Of course, it would’ve been ideal for Smith to say sorry to Rock right after the incident. Still, better late than never.
Let’s hope Smith learned his lesson and will know how to control his temper next time.
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