On the Slap
Chris Rock decided to go off-script with a joke at the Oscars 2022.
And the rest, was – well – history.
Will Smith's physical assault (slap?) on Chris Rock will go down in modern television history as one of the most ignominious and scandalous episodes in recent years – which says, in equal parts, something about the anodyne nature of contemporary entertainments, and about Smith's hyper-macho-androcentric-performatively-outraged-not-really-justified attack on Chris.
In seeking to make sense of the ethics at stake here, I want us to revisit the age-old adage – and note, it doesn't really age, if at all. Two wrongs, do not make a right. With an added twist, of course: it is technically feasible and possible that if one is reacting to a wrong, one is permitted to conduct actions that would, under other circumstances, be deemed wrong. ...