Let’s be honest, if Will Smith hadn’t stormed the stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face on live television, we wouldn’t be talking about the 2022 Academy Awards. This year’s Oscars may have come and gone without most of us either caring or knowing they even took place.
Yet this morning, our news feeds are filled with headlines about what happened last night at the award show, later during the after-party, and everything that’s unfolded since.
Naturally, the events have prompted many to suspect the whole incident was orchestrated to generate ‘controversy’ and regain the public’s interest in the Oscars. And boy, do they need it!
Last year the ceremony was watched by the smallest audience ever. Ratings plummeted to an all-time low, with viewership dropping below 10 million.
Just 9.85 million viewers tuned into the 2021 award show, marking an almost 59 percent drop from the 23.6 million viewers that watched a year earlier.
So, of course, it’s possible the entire thing was a stunt. They are actors, after all. And the joke was hardly comparable to the sorts of jokes Ricky Gervais has previously dished out at the award ceremony. Nobody thought it appropriate to storm the stage and assault Gervais then.
Then again, the video does show Smith initially laughing at Rock’s joke, before realizing his wife wasn’t amused. If it were an act, and a planned joke about Smith’s wife was the cue, then his performance, at least initially, was pretty poor. Definitely not Oscar-worthy.
But whether the whole thing was real or fake, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to the rest of us as though it’s all shockingly out of character for such respectable, influential, and wealthy people to act so… uncivilized.
The hypocrisy in Hollywood is off the charts and has been for a good while now. I suspect that’s largely why people are losing interest in their award shows. No one wants to be moralized by charlatans.
In this instance, however, it all happened so quickly — in real-time and before our eyes. The double standards, the lack of self-awareness, was immediately evident. One minute Will Smith is physically and verbally assaulting a man, the next he’s in tears, describing himself as a “vessel for love.”
During his acceptance speech after winning Best Actor for his portrayal of tennis coach Richard Williams, Smith took to the stage for a second performance. This time to play the victim.
Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.
Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis, who is one of the most strongest, most delicate people I’ve ever met. I got to protect Saniyya and Demi, the two actresses that played Venus and Serena. I’m being called on in my life to love people, and to protect people, and to be a river to my people.
Now, I know that to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse, you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you in this business, you’ve got to be able to have people disrespecting you. You’ve got to smile and pretend like that’s OK. But Richard Williams, and what I loved… Thank you, Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, he said at your highest moment be careful. That’s when the devil comes fro you.
It’s like, I want to be a vessel for love. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena, I just hope they didn’t see that on TV. I want to thank… Venus and Serena and the entire Williams family for trusting me with your story. That’s what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador for that kind of love and care and concern.
Talk about a disconnection from reality. As Australian reporter Peter Ford put it: “Will Smith deserves an Oscar for changing the narrative. Suddenly he was the one assaulted.”
Smith, of course, went on to receive a standing ovation from his peers. But are we really surprised by the hypocrisy? Hollywood reeks of it. We can all imagine the pearl-clutching and feigned outrage if Rock was assaulted by a white actor. But this sort of selectivity has become standard from these sorts.
These people rail against gun owners while profiting from endless films glorifying gun violence.
They screech about the devastation of Climate Change while travelling the world on private jets.
They hashtag #MeToo while overlooking the perverts they work with every day.
They boycott pro-life states while filming next to concentration camps in Communist China.
They espouse diversity and tolerance while crucifying and cancelling anyone that undermines their political and religious ideals.
They assume the moral high ground on every social issue while they move on to their fifth spouse in two years.
They advocate for women’s rights while pushing abortion.
They claim nobody needs a gun for self-defence while they’re surrounded by armed security.
They cry about human rights abuses while the companies they work for fund sweatshops in foreign countries.
They preach about open borders while they sit safely within their walled communities, inside their fenced mansions.
To quote Ricky Gervais: “They’re in no position to lecture the public about anything.”
So, while they milk the incident for all it’s worth, it highlights yet another good reason not to watch the show next year. But more importantly, let’s not forget these are our modern-day clowns, performing in our modern-day circuses. And circuses, too often, have been used to distract the masses.
And there’s certainly no shortage of things our elites would want to avert our attention from.
Over 60 years ago Admiral Ben Moreell, aptly noted that the fall of Rome affords a pertinent illustration that “no society is ever murdered–it commits suicide.” Essential to the decline of society is the circus that would serve as a public distraction, and the Oscars certainly are a circus.
Speaking of Rome, Moreell wrote:
A twentieth-century repetition of the mistakes of ancient Rome would be inexcusable.Rome was eight and a half centuries old when the poet, Juvenal, penned his famous tirade against his degenerate countrymen. About 100 A.D. he wrote: “Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things, bread and circuses.” (Carcopino, Daily Life in Roman Times [New Haven, Yale University Press, 1940], p. 202.) Forty years later, the Roman historian, Fronto, echoed the charge in more prosaic language: “The Roman people is absorbed by two things above all others, its food supplies and its shows.” (Ibid.)
Here was a once-proud people, whose government had been their servant, who had finally succumbed to the blandishments of clever political adventurers. They had gradually relinquished their sovereignty to government administrators to whom they had granted absolute powers, in return for food and entertainment. And the surprising thing about this insidious progression is that, at the time, few realized that they were witnessing the slow destruction of a people by a corruption that would eventually transmute a nation of self-reliant, courageous, sovereign individuals into a mob, dependent upon their government for the means of sustaining life.
Sounds a little too familiar, doesn’t it?