You have probably heard all about the controversy surrounding Will Smith and Chris Rock, and may be surprised by some of the reactions online. Or, perhaps someone said it was just merely a “planned joke.” Was it? Whether it was or not, one cannot deny the fact that both contributed to one of the most shocking moments ever in Academy Awards history. Violence and what seemingly was a not-so-innocent joke became the focus of the awards ceremony, impacting both participants and viewers from all over the the world alike.
Jokes: Action, Reaction, and Consequences
One cannot deny that joking at someone’s expense can cause serious consequences. In this particular situation, Will Smith has been banned from the Oscars for 10 years for slapping Chris Rock, joking about his wife’s appearance. In addition, Will Smith has been condemned by many well-known celebrities and fans for his reaction against, what, Chris Rock may have thought to be an unintended insult to Jada, turning into a display of violence.
As of today, Chris Rock has declined to file charges against Will Smith. This may leave our community with many questions. Why did he decline to press charges? Will there be any other consequences for Will Smith? Will Chris Rock think twice before joking about people’s appearances? Jada has been open about her struggles with alopecia, a condition that leads to hair loss. Rock’s joke about her appearance was no doubt distasteful (given the fact), but did it warrant a slap on the face? Some say yes, others no.
An Unfortunate Common Occurrence in the LGBTQIA+ Community
Although Will Smith has been penalized and banned for his actions, not all circumstances involving jokes and violence get the same spotlight. In fact, our community is four times more likely to be victims of violent crimes with nearly half go unreported to police. With such a staggering statistic, you can say that these circumstances are an unfortunate common occurrence in our #LGBTQIA+ family. So, what can we do to help keep our community safe?
Whether online or offline, report situations of bullying even if it is not you who is experiencing it. Be an #Ally and offer your support to someone who is being bullied.
If you are offended by a joke, let the person know. They may not be aware that their joke is hurting you.
In situations where jokes are intended to be hurtful towards you or someone you care for, you should ignore them and do not react or reply to their messages, if online. Instead, report them and provide evidence when doing so (i.e., screenshots, video).
When appropriate, diffuse and de-escalate combative behavior or altercations to prevent the situation from getting worse or deadly.
Consider joining or supporting groups and organizations to help victims of violence, harassment, bullying, and others.
If you have not done so, visit our resources page for a treasure trove of valuable information and support. At Pride Clothes we absolutely want to help ensure your safety and is why we continue to update our self-help page so we can be there for you when you need us most.
Parents, Guardians, and Educators
In addition to the resources mentioned above, we have also created a quick guide on keeping our youth safe online. It includes safety tips from reputable organizations, and how to create a safe online environment for kids and teens.
We hope that you find our posts here at Pride Clothes to be useful and informative. Remember, you can always turn to us should you need support. We love you, we adore you, and we want to keep you safe and out of harm’s way. Now, show your #Pride and be always #Beproud of who you are while looking absolutely amazing in one of our uniquely designed pieces today.