It has been over 30 years since I watched the Oscars. Even then, my interest was already in rapid decline. I don’t care for the glitch or the red carpet.
This morning, I happened to see a clip from last night’s Oscars on one of my social media feeds. Chris Rock, a comedian, was acting as one of the award presenters. He made what Will Smith considered an off-color remark about his wife. Will spoke out his displeasure from his seat in the audience and then walked up on the stage and slapped Chris. After returning to his seat, Will made it clear once again his wife was off-limits. Some people are condemning Will Smith for his actions. Words like “toxic masculinity” and “narcissist “are being used to define their disgust.
I’m not sure how I would always respond if someone said something about Jan that offended me. I cannot guarantee the nose of the offender might not start bleeding given the right setting. We are not robots programmed with a correct response in all situations. Some well-meaning people want a non-pulsed faith void of human emotion. That is hard to guarantee when humans are involved.
What is typically missed in these events is a careful evaluation of what led up to the display of human emotion. We focus on the outcome and miss the process. What if Will Smith had only called out Chris Rock verbally from his seat instead of walking up and clocking him on stage? I’m betting there would still be criticism for either him interrupting the event or using colorful language. We love our preferred form of offense.
In the Church world, I find it interesting that those who call for a non-violent, turn the other cheek response in all situations of life, still have two eyes and two hands. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said to turn the other cheek. That has become the favorite citation for their correction. In the same discourse, Jesus also said if your eye causes you to lust, pluck it out. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. Maybe the Lord was asking would we be so disgusted with our actions we would be willing to pluck out an eyeball or sever a hand or turn the other cheek if the situation called for it. It wasn’t meant to be a one size fits all response to life.
I am reading today on social media that some, in their disgust of what happened last night, have created an absolute to form their opinion without examining what happens between the offense and the response.
The event last night displayed a slap that was seen and heard around the world. Whether you agree or disagree with Will Smith’s response, it was a message that revealed people are fed up with the absurdity and crudeness that has been allowed to stand without some form of appropriate confrontation.
Not all of our confrontations will be perfect. They need to be reviewed at a deeper level than our original offense allows. The interaction between Will and Chris displayed the frustration and angst currently being experienced in our culture. It is something we would be wise to examine before we fire off our assumptions prematurely offering a final all-inclusive opinion on the subject.