Irish model and actress Amber Jean Rowan, who suffers from alopecia, is hoping the aftermath of Chris Rock’s salacious joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness will stop others from making cruel comments about women living with hair loss.
On Sunday night, in one of the most shocking moments in Oscars history, Will Smith stormed onto the stage and smacked comedian Chris Rock hard in the face after he made a joke about Pinkett Smith.
Referring to Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, Rock said, “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2.” (In the 1997 Ridley Scott film, Demi Moore plays a budding Naval Seal with a shaved head.)
Pinkett Smith has been candid about her hair loss and the psychological impact it had on her.
While Will Smith initially seemed to laugh at the joke, he then took to the stage and slapped Rock squarely in the face.
He then returned to his seat and repeatedly yelled at Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your damn mouth.”
Smith has since apologized to Rock for the attack.
While model Amber Jean, who started losing her hair when she was 15, thinks Smith shouldn’t have hit Rock, she hopes the incident will raise awareness of the condition.
“I’m a huge Jada fan. She’s a badass woman who is constantly shedding light on, acknowledging and educating people about alopecia and hair loss,” Rowan said.
“And it’s wonderful to see Will Smith standing up for his wife and not letting anyone take a shit from him, especially on an issue that’s very sensitive to Jada… but I think hitting it was a step too far.” … I think it could have been handled better that didn’t lead to violence.
video of the day
“Maybe it could have just been better [Will Smith] to pick up the mic and say a few words to Chris Rock… and call him out.”
She added; “Beating isn’t a thing and you shouldn’t be either. But there’s a little part of me that sings inside to someone who doesn’t take shit from someone who is beating up someone with no hair.”
Amber Jean hopes this will encourage people to think twice before making casual and offensive remarks towards people with hair loss.
A spokesman for Alopecia Ireland also spoke about the corrosive effect that “jokes” and unsolicited comments can have on the mental wellbeing of people with hair loss.
Men’s Aid Ireland CEO Kathrina Bentley says Smith’s actions on stage are completely inexcusable and should be condemned.
“There is categorically no excuse for violence against any person,” she said.
“You can understand the motivation … but there is never an excuse for violence. This is assault.
“There are other things he could have done to support his wife… took the mic or talked to Chris Rock backstage. But that’s unacceptable – especially when there are so many people watching and he has so much influence.”
The “slap in the face that was heard around the world” soured the night’s proceedings and sparked controversy, with some people criticizing Smith and others rushing to support him.
Shortly after, Bradley Cooper was seen hugging him.
Last Samurai producer Marshall Herskovitz called on the Academy to take disciplinary action against Smith.
“He disgraced our entire congregation tonight,” he said.
Less than an hour after the slap, Smith won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard.
In his acceptance speech, he apologized to the Academy and appeared to refer to his outburst.
“I know to do what we do you have to be able to take abuse, you have to be able to have people in this business go crazy about you.
“You have to be able to have people disrespect you, and you have to smile and act like that’s okay.”
He added; “Art mimics life, I look like the crazy dad just like they said about Richard Williams, but love will make you do crazy things.”
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/will-smiths-oscars-slap-irish-model-with-alopecia-says-think-twice-before-making-hair-loss-jokes-41498218.html Will Smith’s Oscars slap: Irish model with alopecia says you think twice before making ‘jokes’ about hair loss