nerdgasm | What is behind Will Smith and the slap of has gone around the world? | Will Smith | Chris Rock | Oscar Awards | Hollywood | CHEK

In what should have been the great night of cinema, and particularly the great night for for winning his first Academy Award, it became a ceremony to be forgotten due to an unexpected backlash from the ‘Men in Black’ actor against his colleague, comedian Chris Rock.

Needless to describe the moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in the face in response to a joke the comedian, and host of that moment at the ceremony, made about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. The slap in the face has had more viewing angles than Peru’s unscored goal against Uruguay, and after going around the world, it has been commented on from all points of view.

Mainly two sides have been created regarding this fact: Those who defend the violent action of the actor, arguing a sort of defense of his wife against the insult received or a rejection of the alleged bullying. While the other side criticizes the lack of control and the unjustified violent reaction to a joke. Particularly I place myself in that second camp.

I have read and heard all kinds of arguments, from those that consider the reaction as sexist, to those that equate the fact with verbal violence causing suicides in children and young people. But the context is one and the protagonists have a first and last name, so focusing on this is the most appropriate.

Beyond arguing why this type of violence is unjustified or that you cannot respond with physical violence to a joke, however heavy it may be, something that jumps out at me is understanding how one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood ended up falling into such an unexpected, aggressive and negative reaction. What is behind Will?

We know, from the actor’s own publications, that he had a rather turbulent childhood in which an episode of violence perpetrated by his father towards his mother marked him for life. Generating a kind of regret in him for not having done anything at the time, for not having defended his mother, becoming a burden.

This load seems to have led to a lack of control of their impulses, which on some occasions can lead to violent behavior, such as beatings, insults, threats, intimidation, among others. These reactions cannot be controlled by the individual himself because “they are established in his belief schemes, preventing him from perceiving reality in a rational way,” psychologist Marlene García Aragón tells me.

This psychological aspect of Smith is reinforced when he gives his acceptance speech after winning Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams. “Richard was a staunch supporter of his family and at this point in my life I am overwhelmed by what God is asking me to do in this world (…) I have been called to love and protect people.”Will is heard mentioning.

Will Smith receiving his Oscar for Best Actor for "king richard". (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)
Will Smith receiving his Oscar for Best Actor for “King Richard”. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

The expert considers that these expressions are key to determining that the sense of being a defender and protector of the family may be a reflection of beliefs established during childhood. But continuing with her speech, when she says that “love will make you do crazy thingssomehow validates any type of conduct in order to protect his own, and this includes violence, justifying it as an act of love.

At first glance it seems to be a noble behavior, and with which many of us could feel identified, but it works as a false validation that clouds the rational response that should always prevail.


  • Marlene García Aragón, a lawyer, directs the Libera y Sana psychological clinic, where she treats children, youth and adults in mental health care. For psychological attention you can contact the number 933 282 694 or visit their page .


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nerdgasm | What is behind Will Smith and the slap of has gone around the world? | Will Smith | Chris Rock | Oscar Awards | Hollywood | CHEK