If you didn’t watch the 2022 Oscars, you have probably seen the highlights by now. Everyone is talking about Will Smith slapping the host Chris Rock after Chris made a terrible ‘joke’ about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
I’m pretty sure that public opinion is now divided into two camps. Did Will Smith do the right thing by sticking up for Jada Pinkett Smith’s dignity by hitting the person having a dig or should he accept that it is all part of show business?
How would you handle it? Imagine you just heard your wife’s auto-immune disease joked about in front of your friends and millions of people watching on TV, would you be tempted to jump up on stage and smack the person making the slur?
Daniel Payne explained the tension well when he said:
“Hollywood has never been comfortable with traditional morals and values, so it is rather amusing seeing the industry struggling to figure out how to respond to Will Smith violently assaulting Chris Rock at the Oscars over a joke about Smith’s wife Jada.
- “Is Will Smith an heroic husband defending his wife’s honour before a global audience?
- “Is he a patriarchal caveman helping perpetuate toxic masculinity by using his fists to solve problems?”
At Glasshouse Christian College, we teach our students that violence is not the answer so it is good to see a lot of people condemning ‘the slap’ even though they understand the provocation. In Hollywood, the good guys often beat the bad guys in a battle or shoot out. We find ourselves rooting for the good guys to beat up the bad guys but in real life, violence is not the answer.
Staying silent in the face of public ridicule shows who the bigger person is and often backfires on the one telling the ‘joke’. Walking away is another option. Expressing hurt and disappointment about the rude comments in a reasonable way is another response that doesn’t use violence.
Will Smith slapping Chris Rock is the news making the headlines but I think our focus at Glasshouse Christian College should be about addressing the mean joke culture that seems to exist in society, rather than the response to it.
At Glasshouse Christian College we just celebrated You Belong Week which shows the acceptance, support and respect we have for all of our students. A sense of belonging is important to us all and a cornerstone of happiness and wellbeing. There is no place for jokes that make others feel singled out in an atmosphere where everyone belongs and is valued.
Glasshouse Christian College’s focus every day of the year is to have a culture of kindness. In Gail Mitchell’s article from 2019, she encouraged everyone to throw kindness like confetti! Gail said that if every primary student shared one act of kindness each day for a term, it would result in 3,000 acts of kindness! Imagine the number if all of us are doing acts of kindness every day of the year!
As we head into Easter, I would like us to celebrate the greatest act of kindness ever made. As a Christian College, we unashamedly celebrate Easter as the time that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried and rose again. Jesus died to take the punishment we deserved for rejecting God, He was buried to prove that He died and He rose from the dead to show that death was defeated. I know that most of us think we are pretty good people so our biggest problem is that we don’t realise we need saving from our rebellion.
There is this great video by The Bible Project called ‘Messiah’ and it sums up the history of humanity and our need for Jesus in just under six minutes. I would encourage you to watch it with your family. It explains things a lot better than I could and is very worthwhile.
Easter is all about God giving His greatest gift to us in an act of kindness so we can have peace and love in this life and live forever! It’s a pretty big gift and certainly worth celebrating. This could be the perfect year to talk to your children about Easter being God’s greatest gift and discuss new ways to celebrate this gift.
Mike Curtis, Principal