Celebrities still have much to say about the recent Oscars slap between Will Smith and comedian Chris Rock. In the recently concluded 94th Academy Awards, Smith slapped Rock while the comedian was onstage.
The physical assault resulted from Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. In the joke, he mentioned a possible sequel to the “G.I. Jane” movie in reference to Pinkett’s bald head. This joke was seen in bad taste because Pinkett reportedly has an autoimmune hair loss disorder called alopecia.
Emmy Winner David Oyelowo recently joined the number of celebrities who verbally reacted to the incident. In a piece for The Hollywood Reporter, the actor mentioned that after witnessing the slap, he was most concerned about its possible effect on Black people and their quest for inclusion. Oyelowo also talked about interacting with someone about the incident, which only alarmed him even more.
David Oyelowo Is Worried About Negative Effect Of Smith Slap On Inclusivity
Several celebrities were asked their views on the Smith and Rock incident at the recent Oscars award show, and actor Oyelowo recently revealed his. The actor wrote a guest column for THR, talking about the entire situation and its possible lasting effects.
According to Oyelowo, the incident could have a “negative effect” on the ongoing “push for inclusion.” Having been one of the people to witness the slap, he revealed that he was immediately filled with a rush of anxiety, similar to the feeling when a Black person is posted on the news as a criminal.
He wrote, “The moment I realized the nature of what had just occurred on the stage at the Dolby Theatre, I was confronted by the same rising anxiety all Black people feel when the face that flashes up on the news after a crime is reported is a Black one. You find yourself thinking, ‘What does this mean for us?’ ‘What does that mean for me?'”
Oyelowo Said His Previous Oscars Had A Lot Of Drama
In his piece, the British American actor also talked about his previous Oscar award shows and how each has some element of drama and “a constant intersection of public opinion, politics, and race.” He cited the 2015 event, which he termed “the beginning of #OscarsSoWhite.” Oyelowo also mentioned the widespread incident in 2017 when a wrong movie was mentioned as the Best Picture Award winner.
The Emmy winner wrote, “In 2015, I had a front-row seat to the beginning of #OscarsSoWhite, having starred in the film that had a hand in starting it all, “Selma.” Two years later, I became part of a viral meme after my reaction was caught on camera as “La La Land” was wrongly cited as the winner of best picture instead of the actual winner, “Moonlight.”
Oyelowo revealed that while he wasn’t totally unprepared for another dramatic incident this year, the magnitude of what happened threw him off, along with several other onlookers.
Oyelowo Detailed Interaction With ‘An Older White Gentleman’
View this post on Instagram
After the incident, the actor mentioned an interaction with “an older white gentleman,” which only served as fodder for his concerns. He wrote, “I walked into an Oscars after-party and was immediately confronted by that which I feared.”
“An older white gentleman sidled up to me with relish in his demeanor and said, ‘He should have been dragged right out of there,'” Oyelowo continued. “You may well agree with that sentiment, but it’s not what he said; it’s the way he said it. I know that relish. I know that demeanor, and it’s ugly to its core in all its coded messaging.”
He added that he was afraid that the Smith and Rock incident would negatively affect every Black person in the field in their “ongoing push for inclusion.” “There are those who, in a bit to make sure something of this nature never happens again, will operate through an unconscious—or conscious—bias,” the actor wrote.
David Oyelowo Said The Incident Could Be Used Against Black People
While mentioning the former Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and her efforts for a more diverse Academy, Oyelowo revealed that the recent incident could dent the achievements. Isaacs led the Academy to improve “its disgracefully uneven racial and gender demographics,” according to the actor, despite massive internal opposition.
“That change clearly led to films and artisans who would traditionally be ignored being celebrated over the intervening years,” the producer wrote. “That example had the very welcome effect of permeating our industry.”
Oyelowo added that the recent incident would only serve as a reason for the industry professionals who were previously against inclusion, to make it a race issue. “It would be naïve to assume that the incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock will not be pushed, by some industry professionals, through the lens of race,” he wrote.
View this post on Instagram