So I’m not a physiatrist or anything, but something struck me as odd about that whole incident with Will Smith and Chris Rock and I’ve been having a hard time pinning down what it was that was bothering me. Obviously the entire incident was odd, but then it dawned on me that I heard something about Will Smith maybe a lot of people haven’t.
For one, I work in Hollywood. I have since about 2009. When I first got here, like many, you network and try to get your foot in the door anyway you can. One night a buddy of mine invited me to this birthday party to network with some people in the industry. This friend was a male model, a straight guy, and this party was for a gay co worker of his. A lot of the men there were also gay, and my buddy is used to being sexually harassed by men in these situations, so I think my unspoken job was to politely tell these other dudes that he was straight…as was I, but I’m no model with a jaw line and a washboard stomach.
So anyway, the party wasn’t to big and enough people understood that he wasn’t available, so he chilled out and it was just a nice little party. Drinking, telling stories, cracking jokes, you get the picture. As the night went on and I had a few drinks in me I started asking….let’s just say politically incorrect questions. Like, “is there a Gay mafia” and “Who in Hollywood is still in the closet?”. Inappropriate sure, but I was drunk and these dudes were cool and seemed amused by my total lack of knowledge of the gay culture in Hollywood.
So they start listing names, but honestly I forgot most of them, some actors who when I googled them I knew who they were, but no one truly well known. Then this one dude comes over and is listening in and immediately picks up what the conversation was about. So he then chimes in “Will Smith is bi-sexual”. Now that shocked me I have to admit, this was probably around 2010 mind you. I immediately called bullshit and said he was just trying to one up everyone else.
He then pulls his phone out of his pocket and shows me pictures of him hanging out and kissing some other dude. I was like “That’s not Will Smith”. He then says “Google Will Smiths assistant”. So I do and sure enough it was the same guy in the photo. Before I can say anything he says “The man that sucks Will Smiths dick, sucks mine”. That was the mic drop moment of the party. I was surprised, others weren’t, but then the night continued and I didn’t think about it again really until I saw what happened at the Oscars.
Now obviously I can’t prove any of this story, so take everything as a grain of salt. But with that story in mind, frame the Oscars a little differently.
Here is Will Smith, one of the most successful leading men in Hollywood, on the cusp of possibly winning an award that would be considered a crowning achievement in his life and career. And to think that in that moment, Will Smith had so much pent up anger in him, that he got up a smacked one of the most celebrated black comedians in the mouth in front of the entire world…..Why?
Maybe it’s because with all his fame, and all his money, deep down he knew even if he won that Oscar, which he did, he would still be unhappy because he can’t be who he truly wants to be publicly because of years of conditioning from his early career. That Americans don’t want leading men in movie roles to be gay, or bi. Especially to not offend middle America and the south. And let’s not get started how homosexuality is received in the black community.
The thinking in Hollywood even still is that Americans aren’t ready for a leading heterosexual character shooting the gun and getting the girl if off screen he’s gay. Sad but true.
He is stuck, and probably envious of his children because they grew up in a version of Hollywood were anything, as far as sexuality goes, is acceptable as long as it’s between consenting adults.
So Chris Rock makes a joke, and we all might have witnessed a little bit of that pressure cooker of a closeted person letting off some steam. Not justifying his actions of course, just trying to understand what might have really been going on in his head when that incident occurred.
It’s that or he’s just a rich entitled prick…. Or both?