• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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What was Will Smith thinking?

What was Will Smith thinking?

The Academy and all organisations must do well to protect their hosts going forward. As a host myself, it can be hard not to think of security issues when standing on the stage with all manners of people seeking your attention

It is no longer news that the highly infectious slapping disease has moved from Awka in Nigeria to the United States and to no less a space than the Academy Awards 2022.

Yes, the now-infamous Will Smith slaps Chris Rock debacle is up for grabs from columnist to netizens, from journalists to comedians and ordinary citizens. Everyone is talking about it. On the one night that Will Smith landed his first Oscar is the same night everything went south.

Goofy, good looking, multi-talented, we followed Will Smith from his much beloved role as the fresh Prince of Bell Air, his great performance as Bad Boy to the explosion of his rap career and all his other movies in between.

We particularly love him in The Pursuit of Happiness. A movie I re-watched last night. A tear- jerking biopic of an African American who rose from poverty to become one of America’s most successful stockbrokers. Acting with his son Jaden, who was then about five years old, they both delivered the greatest performance of their lives.

Smith put his heart and body in that movie. And as he cried when things were tough, we cried along. When he finally got a job, we all wanted to get on the screen and hug him.

The movie garnered nine awards and was severally nominated. Then he went on to play Mohammed Ali and was again nominated for his unflappable portrayal of the legend.

Will Smith is a phenomenal actor. Period! The Oscar in his hand for King Richard finally validates him. A much needed currency in Hollywood.

This phenomenal actor is the same one in the middle of the slapping storm at the Oscars. What happened to the much beloved Will Smith?

Well, let’s say a lot happened. Some people say Jada is not good for him. What can I say? It was in fact because of Jada that he lost it at the Oscars.

It is with Jada that they told us they had an open marriage. It was with Jada that entanglement became a word when she was outed for cheating on him with her son’s friend. It is Jada that started red-table talk and nothing is off the table. No private moment is excluded.

It is with Jada that they have two children whom they have brought up in a most unusual way. But as a caregiver, these things can overwhelm even the best of us.

Only recently I met a feisty Nollywood actress. On screen, she roars but when I met her on the ground, she was painfully shy. She could not even look at me. I was surprised but not shocked.

They are primed to be different people at different times, sometimes for six months. Psychologically it takes its toll. Add this to the tough job, they have to also publicise themselves, get attention and stay relevant.

Who knows what baggage Will Smith has been carrying for a while. As a caregiver myself, I know that there is so much the mind can take before it gets overwhelmed. There are those who say Will and his family tried too hard in the publicity department.

Watch how Jada tried to get him to say something about a rape case while filming him for clips of her red-table talk and how Will uncomfortably said Instagram was his bread and butter, and she should not ruin it for him.

It is hard staying on social media and sustaining it. It is a sure banker if overwhelmed with social media to have mental health issues.

Pushing publicity requires you do all manner of things to stay relevant. Some of the things required can often be tiring, draining and insane. What was Will’s mental health quotient at the Oscars?

Watch his rambling tearful acceptance speech and watch his insane celebration after the event. These were certainly abnormal and border on some psychological issues.

Be that as it may. Self-control and restraint are a huge virtue and everyone should practice it. Leaders, followers and stars.

Violence can never be the answer to a disagreement. It is difficult to grow and be somebody when you have anger management issues.

Everyone agrees that Chris took a jab at a lot of people including Denzel Washington that night. And that the joke about Jada was not even all that. But Will stepped out of line when he stepped forward to slap his old friend and stained his record forever. Restraint. Truly a virtue.

Read also: Will Smith banned from Oscars for 10 years for slapping Rock

At any age. Whoever you are. Lesson. If your wife is driving you insane. Let her go. If your husband is driving you mad. Leave.

Violence is not the answer. Next week we talk about gospel singer Osinachi and men who are violent and end up killing their wives.

Will Smith has been banned from attending any award ceremony by the Academy for 10 years. By this time Will would have attained senior citizen status.

While some feel the length of the ban is harsh, it is clear that the Academy needed to send strong signals to attendees.

Come to think of it, if Will was as mad as he seemed to be, he could have killed Chris Rock. The Academy and all organisations must do well to protect their hosts going forward.

As a host myself, it can be hard not to think of security issues when standing on the stage with all manners of people seeking your attention.

As Dr Phil, American psychiatrist, asked in the course of the week, why did Academy security not stop Will Smith and protect Chris Rock, and why did Will’s family and friends not save him from himself?

It is fitting that Will Smith has checked into a rehab to try to make sense of all of this. But his beautiful career has taken a dent from violence, anger and lack of self restraint.

As for Jada, she has moved on attending red carpet events, preaching healing and posting sweet pictures of family.

What was Will Smith thinking? Or maybe, we should ask what was his mental state when he arrived the Oscars? Something was terribly wrong that night. And Will will play back that night for the rest of his life.