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Will Smith defending his wife isn’t the problem, but the impulse of his actions are.
The most shocking moment of this years 92nd Oscar night is undoubtedly Will Smith interrupting the show to slap Chris Rock in defense of his wife being the center of the nights joke.
Protect Black Women
Although the altercation was impulsive, and showed a different side to Smith, Black women are deserving of protection the first time someone disrespects them. And many Black women fight and advocate for that type of protection everyday.
Protecting Black women isn’t just a hashtag, but a call to action that must be practiced daily. So what happens when the only times we see Black women being protected is when a person is on their last straw? Or worse, like in many everyday situations when extreme physical or emotional harm has been done.
From Hollywood’s favorite couple to pop culture laughing stock
Smith and Pinkett Smith have been one of America’s longest standing couples in Hollywood today. Spending more than two decades together can wear on any relationship. And the public has watched the couples’ image shift from being role models of Black love, to the laughing stock of the year when rumors of their relationship style were confirmed because of Jada’s infamous entanglement in 2020.
Although both parties have gone on record to defend the openness of their relationship style, Jada became an enemy in the public eye, while Will was viewed as the victim in their relationship. Social media pundits have made the couple the center of many jokes over the last two years.
Will Smith: the slap heard around the world
Fast forward to the Oscar night, it was clear that Will had enough of the jokes. And while many are in defense of his actions, one must question: how can we assert ourselves and protect the Black women in our lives on an everyday basis? Is there an urgency to protect the emotional and physical safety of Black women?
Many felt that Jada was an easy target, not only because of her extramarital relationship, but also because Will did not come to her defense in the height of her online bullying and criticism.
Sure, it’s easy to point fingers when someone is in the hot seat but Will has been on record saying that“You get into that space where you realize you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life,” Smith said during a 2018 interview. “There’s no deal breakers. There’s nothing she could do — ever. Nothing that would break our relationship. She has my support till death and it feels so good to get to that space.”