‘The Slap’ Was Nothing; It’s Something Else

Posted on March 30, 2022

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By David Ettinger

Infamous Moment
It will go down as one of the most infamous moments in Academy Award TV broadcast history.

Comedian Chris Rock, while onstage to present the Oscar for full-length documentary, made an ill-advised joke regarding actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.

Though her husband – Oscar-nominated actor Will Smith – at first laughed at the attempted humorous stab, it was clear that Jada was not at all amused. A moment later, a stunned live audience in the Dolby Theatre as well as an equally-stunned TV viewership watched as Will ascended the steps of the stage and smacked Rock in the mouth.

This shocking moment overshadowed everything else that happened at the Oscars that night – except for shortly after when Smith won the Oscar for best actor in a leading role. As he made his way to the stage, he received a standing ovation.

What’s now known as “The Slap” may go down as the Academy Awards’ most-infamous moment, but the attention brought upon Will and Jada Smith pales in comparison.

The Real Issue
Will and Jada Smith met in 1994 and married on New Year’s Eve 1997. Over the next few years, they had a son and a daughter. Their 25-year marriage is considered an oddity among Hollywood couples, and they have received praise for staying together for so long (relatively speaking).

However, there is a dark and sinister aspect to their marriage. In an interview with GQ magazine, Will has confirmed that their marriage is an “open” one. What does this mean?

In the surprisingly candid exchange, Will confirmed to the
interviewer that both he and Jada have, with mutual agreement,
engaged in sexual relationships outside of their marriage.[1]

In other words, though married, Will and Jada permit each other to see other people. Will has admitted to not being comfortable with the situation, seeming to attribute their marital practices as acclimating to Jada’s preferences:

Will then detailed how, unlike that of his religiocentric upbringing,
Jada had been raised in a more “unconventional” environment.
“Jada never believed in conventional marriage … Jada had family
members that had an unconventional relationship,” Will revealed.
“So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up.”[2]

Will continued.

“We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that
everybody has to find their own way,” he added. “And marriage for
us can’t be a prison. And I don’t suggest our road for anybody. …
But the experiences that the freedoms that we’ve given one another
and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love.”[3]

No Condemnation
Obviously, the notion of an “open” marriage is odious to Christians, and likely  just as odious to the majority of unbelievers. It is certainly odious regarding biblical mandates – as is Will Smith’s definition of love.

And just to be sure, the Smiths’ “open marriage” is no secret. Shortly before Will’s GQ interview, Jada spoke of it on her talk show Red Table Talk. Though both have expressed some regrets for their treatment of the other, neither Will nor Jada apologizes for their adulterous relationships.

And the denizens of Hollywood know this. When the Oscar audience at the Dolby Theatre rose to its feet to celebrate Smith’s Oscar win, they were knowingly doing so for an admitted adulterer and now physical assaulter.

In usual Hollywood fashion, there was no condemnation.

The Bottom Line
Actually, I like Will Smith. I think he is an excellent actor and enjoy his engaging personality.

However, his behavior at the Oscars along with the state of his marriage speaks volumes about the depravity of Hollywood, the movie industry, and America’s godless culture.

Regarding his marriage, I suppose most people would dismiss it as something personal. “Hey,” they would reason, “if that’s what they both agree to, that’s none of our business.”

Not true. Will and Jada Smith are a famous Hollywood couple, and, sadly, thousands – if not millions – of people admire them. Tragically, however, the Smiths – as multitudes throughout the world – are unbelievers, sinners in need of a Savior. They are dying in their sins and depravity and are heading to an eternity of flames in the Lake of Fire unless they repent and confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

The same as you and me before we were saved.

The bottom line is that “The Slap” was nothing. In fact, in today’s twisted culture, both Smith and Rock will benefit from it. (In fact, Rock already has.)[4]

On the other hand, it is “something” that Western culture is spiraling out of control at dizzying speeds. Not too long ago, Will Smith’s actions at the Academy Awards ceremony coupled with revelations concerning his marriage would never have been tolerated. But last Sunday night, Smith – and all he represents – was honored and celebrated with a standing ovation.

This speaks volumes about the world in which we live and where it continues to head.

In the meantime, the time is late, the need is great, and Jesus Christ is the only answer for humanity’s decaying condition – Will and Jada Smith included.


[1] https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/leylamohammed/will-smith-confirmed-jada-pinkett-smith-open-marriage

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/business/business-news/chris-rock-ticket-sales-soar-comic-mum-oscars-slap-1235122177/