Will Smith’s aggression highlights the goodness of the Oscars

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All the policies of the Academy against racism and toxic masculinity are called into question by its late and lukewarm reaction to the actor’s slap in the face of Chris Rock, who now announces that he will investigate

Will Smith’s tearful speech after hitting Chris Rock at the Oscars

when the presenter Amy Schumer I returned to the scene after the intervention ‘stellar‘ by Will Smith, he didn’t know what to say or how. Until now, a gala had lived determined to be different without achieving it at all. The 94th edition of the Oscar He walked steadily towards his nth and ritual failure. They wanted the ceremony to be shorter (hence the sad occurrence of removing eight categories from the direct), more entertaining (each of the jokes detonated as it happened some time ago in the late Golden Globes) and, above all and above of everything, more inclusive, friendly, universal and diverse. And by inclusive, it is understood as different from the white, cisgender and masculine pattern that, whether you like it or not, has been the norm throughout its history. So Amy Schumer came in with her carefully prepared joke and was speechless. “I think something happened,” she said, smiling and moving on to the joke.

Even now, when a day has already passed since the violent aggression (it was that, not a simple and sympathetic slap), no one is exactly able to predict the repercussion that what happened will have for the future of the Oscars and of the Academy itself. On Monday afternoon in Madrid it was known that the Academy would meet “to start an investigation”. No more. Be that as it may, the credibility of the institution has been damaged, perhaps forever. The truth is that the result is catastrophic and it is so because, beyond the moral judgment that we deserve, a man out of his mind pouncing on another and incapable of apologize to the attacked later -he did it several hours later, via Instagram-, the raised hand attack has ended the active policy that the Academy has been carrying out since at least 2016 for presenting a different image to society.

It makes little sense to flag the movements metoo either Black Lives Matter and aspire, consequently, to parity between men and women, between blacks, whites, Asians and Latinos, in addition to insisting again and again on the need to change the relationship model between men and women, if in the end what prevails is the standard pattern of toxic masculinity, the model of an abuser who tearfully justifies his crime because he committed it out of love.

Will Smith really slaps Chris Rock in the middle of the Oscars

When Spike Lee and, attentive, Jada Pinkett-Smith (that is, Smith’s wife), called for the Oscar boycott six years ago, they did so scandalized because for the second consecutive year and despite much said, written and protested, there were still no African-American actors and directors among the nominees. By the way, this protest was the reason for the first clash between the Smith-Pinkett-Smith couple and Chris Rock. The comedian joked at the time about how ridiculous it was to boycott something you weren’t invited to. “It’s like I boycott Rihanna’s panties,” he said. Now, the target has been the alopecia suffered by the actress. Jada, I can’t wait to see Lieutenant O’Neill 2″, commented in reference to the impossible second part of the 1997 film where Demi Moore appears with a shaved head.

Be that as it may, personal resentments aside, a year after that, in October 2017, the massive protest against sexual abuse began after the case Harvey Weinstein x-ray an industry at least misgina. The Academy had no choice but to react to one or the other, and it did so in a radical and visible way when it expanded the number of voters worldwide to the current 9,500 and in 2020 it imposed severe demands for racial and gender diversity and in favor of all minorities as an essential requirement to compete for the Oscar for best film. So far, roughly, the background. The inauguration of the museum dedicated to cinema, very attentive to this new perspective, was or was intended to be the culmination of an image washing whose maximum expression should have been the ceremony on Sunday.

Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, avoid attending the media after the Oscars

On paper, everything added up. Demolished by precisely carcas, white and corrupt the once breakers Golden Globes and after a pandemic that, in its own way, invited a kind of clean slate to be staged on the Dolby Theater stage, everything was pending on the nature of the nominations. Could the candidatures be up to such an evident founding moment? And here, too, by luck or by general conviction, the facts, which not only the desires, accompanied.

Among the films nominated for best production of the year, a ‘western‘ against the machismo of ‘western‘ and led by a myth like Jane Campion (the first woman to win the Palme d’Or); a kind film that gives prominence to the deaf community and does it with deaf interpreters, and a Japanese film in Japanese and completely outside the sphere of influence of traditional Hollywood (and also with integrated deaf). That at least. Having the first openly gay Afro-Latin performer to be openly rewarded with joy (Ariana DeBose) it drew a picture very close to perfection. The one that for the first time was counted on three presenters after several years without anyone to act as host, it could be considered something like the no va más, the icing, the colophon or, in Flamboyant Gothic, the dome.

Well, no, Will Smith directly swept away everyone and everything with an exit on stage typical of a possessive disciple of Weinstein, with a proud apology for his aggression (love forced him came to say) and finally with a carefree dance at the party of Vanity Fair . The reactions took as long as Schumer herself reacted. Much and bad. The Academy limited itself to publishing a tweet in which “It condemned any kind of violence.” He failed to specify whether he was referring to Ukraine or its active member. Many hours later, he finally announced that he was opening a formal investigation and that he would assess whether to take action.

Several professional comedians wondered, always on the social network, if what happened means that it is already allowed to slap comedians for every bad joke or in bad taste. Magazine ‘Variety‘ published a confusing editorial accusing Smith of having ruined the gala as well as pointing to his young son for not stopping crying all night. Colleagues of the aggressor, in his eagerness to excuse him, attributed everything to a character flaw of the Philadelphia natives. and the veteran Anthony Hopkins onstage he just said he wasn’t going to say anything because Smith had already said it all. And she gave him the Oscar. And, immediately afterwards, the honoree cried first and danced later.

For now, everything is on hold. Everything indicates that if the reaction of the Academy is very lukewarm or it lets it go or looks the other way or delays in the announced investigation, its credibility (or change of image) so persecuted and desired all these years will go down the drain. And let’s see which presenter presents nothing from now on.

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