Ghanaian broadcast icon Earl Ankrah joins the league of commentaries that have stuffed the international media since the slapping of Chris Rock by Will Smith at the Oscars 2022.
It’s rather unfortunate that it’s only physical abuse that gets us all fuming at the perpetrator. But when it comes to emotional assault, we heckle the victim to grow a pair and take it in good stride.
Smith was a complete jerk! What he did was inexcusable. He must face the consequences, including a possible dismissal from the Academy, especially for refusing to leave the hall when he was asked to.
Rock’s composure and cool-headedness deserves applause. A head-on collision on stage would have been a slap in the face of the dignity of the Oscars. A close-shave moment, if you ask me.
On the other ‘hand’, Rock’s swipe at Jada amounts to bullying and intimidation. It’s classified as emotional abuse, yet the whole hall was laughing at her, instead of scolding the predator.
We encourage our generation to stand up to bullies and defend the bullied, but that appears to be reserved only for bullying of a physical nature. And woe betides the defender, if the act of defence comes to ruin our evening of laughter, at the expense of the bullied.
Yes, Will laughed, but it was shortlived. Could be that it wasn’t from his heart. Hey, it was his night. They were in a front roll seat. He didn’t want to rain on the parade. But during play, when a victim communicates that they’re injured, what do we collectively do?
Rock’s quest to get the audience to let down their hair, came at the expense of ridiculing Jada’s ill-fated baldness. He’s a talented professional comedian of global standards. He knows better. He could have found a thousand other subjects to work with.
Comedy is supposed to expose social vices and hypocrisy in a funny way, ridicule outmoded or fading culture and look at the world around us from ironic perspectives we have not thought about.
It’s not supposed to mock disability of any kind. But guess what? His job for the night wasn’t even to host. He was just to present an award, so he bore no burden at all to come up with a joke at all costs.
Unfortunately, A.M.P.A.S., who provided the platform for these unfortunate deeds to occur, have taken popular sides, and left a critical victim unattended to. They owe Jada too an apology.
Same as they wouldn’t condone any racial slur, any mockery of mental illness or any remarks that may be derogatory to the LGBTQI persuasion, they are not supposed to contain, applaud, promote or protect any acts of intimidation, subtle bullying or emotional abuse, hinged on ridiculing an unfortunate health condition.
Shaving and shoving Smith to the gallows constitutes an act of appeasement to fans bearing torches and pitchforks. That cannot completely exonerate them. They’ve also got blood on their hands.
Simply put, I’m not doing this whole tit4tat brawl y’all splitting hairs over. I’m for none of the two. They’re both jerks. I’m for Jada, cos it’s the non-physical violence that cuts the deepest and lasts the longest.
If I may hit the nail right on its head, the Nominees for Offenders of the Night are: A.M.P.A.S, Chris Rock, Will Smith, The Laughing Audience. And the award goes to..(Drumroll!) Let all heads roll!
Written by Earl Ankrah