Updated: Nov 4, 2022
GET HIS WORDS OUT OF YOUR HEAD
On March 27th 2022, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was crowned King Richard and received the accolade of a lifetime with the sceptre of an Oscar placed in his hand as Best Actor.
Remarkably his actions weren't the best when we look at what the actor did prior to receiving the Academy Award. His language and actions were more Bad Boys than best actor and he physically attacked a comedian hosting the Oscars.
I wouldn't like to be a jester in the court of the King Richard actor and his actions resulted in countless memes and comments which ironically meant that everyone has being talking about his wife's alopecia condition more than we should have been if he hadn't told Cris Rock to keep his wife's name out of his mouth.
In Cris Rock's defence, "It was a GI Jane joke" neither funny nor overly offensive.
At the Bloomsday Society in Madrid's monthly meeting in March, I found myself in two different conversations in two different languages about Will Smith's actions.
Regardless of the conversation in Spanish and in English in El Ateneo theatre on Wednesday the 30th of March, everyone loved the meme I had received that said, "termino todos los libros que comienzo" which I translate as, I finish all the books that I start, and yes "Ulises de James Joyce" can be a bit of a slap in the face when you first start reading it.
What surprised me most about Will Smith's slap was the impact it had in the 200 year old theatre as our conversation turned from Joyce and Ulysses to the Oscar awards and I wonder if we will be talking about the 94th Academy Awards in a hundred years time like we are remembering Joyce's work in the centenary year.
We will have to get his words out of our heads and as a panellist on Midlands Radio 103 shortly after the event, I argued that the violence and the bad language aside, what I found worse was the fact that he received his award after attacking the host Cris Rock and we have to stop awarding people who act violently or aggressively as it sets a terrible precedent and example for future generations, and what is worse than the artist formally known as the Fresh Prince acting this way, is the fact that we have seen such horrible unprecedented examples more and more including from world leaders like President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
While candidate Trump was calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers and telling people at his rallies to violently attack people, he was also caught on camera saying that he can grab women by the pussy. He won the election when he should have been dropped by his party and similarly Boris Johnson was calling women wearing religious headwear, "mailboxes." What an asshole?
Sorry, such language isn't always appropriate but let's just call it "Locker room talk" or maybe it is now considered presidential or parliamentary language.
The slap echoed and felt around the world
UNESCO City of Literature