Over the past year, attacks on black comedians have been on the rise; everything from Dave Chappelle and the LGBTQ community to Kayne West versus DL Hughley, and in more recent news the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rapper and actor Will Smith smacking Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscar Awards.
Despite the fact that Uncle Phil (the late James Avery) is probably rolling in his grave at this point, the Smith family made getting through COVID much easier with their “entanglement” drama, and now the Ukraine situation due to Will Smith’s smack heard around the world. Thank God for Will and Jada! Keeping the world laughing during these epic times is not an easy task.
Tensions between the Smith family and Chris Rock started long before 2022. Back in 2016, Jada Pinkett-Smith boycotted the Oscars in her claim that more people of color should be recognized for their accomplishments. During the 2016 Oscars, however, Chris Rock was cited as saying at the award ceremony that “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!” Jada wasn’t pleased at all.
Will Smith has been challenged in not only defending his marriage but also his manhood. The veteran actor became the object of criticism and jokes as his wife’s alleged affair with singer August Alsina had come to light in what Jada described simply as an entanglement.
Aside from this controversy, it has also become public that despite Will Smith’s enormous accomplishments as an entertainer, he still lives in Tupac Shakur’s shadow, at least in Jada’s eyes. In 2012, Will and Jada’s daughter, Willow Smith, wrote a letter to the posthumous Shakur asking him to “come home,” in hopes of settling Jada’s unhappiness. The toll this has taken on Will Smith and the self-doubt that it has raised in his mind is heavy. Perhaps, Chris Rock and the Smith family might share a laugh at an upcoming Red Table Talk. Like Wu-Tang, Will Smith is for the children.