I don’t watch the Oscars so this isn’t really about that. I have alopecia but it’s not about that either. This is about the Fresh Prince of PR and how, once again, misogynoir played out in front of the world and people STILL DIDN’T GET IT.
The Oscars to me is simply a bunch of wealthy people in a room celebrating what is often mediocre, nepotistic ‘creativity’ that makes them more millions. I’m not into the red carpet fashion and the odd speech where they throw in a sociological quip on the environment or Ukraine for clout. And then you have the host who does their best to roast everyone. Are we back in the noughties? Yawn!
Last night was meant to be a shoot cute moment as Chris Rock and Will Smith did a thing and caused a furore. But for me as I read all of the posts on social this morning I thought this was a master class in PR but, once again at the cost of Black Women. The easiest target because nobody has our back.
Priors – Critic’s Choice Awards
Like Venus and Serena Williams who were verbally attacked by that awful Jane Campion at the Critic’s Choice Awards for no good reason, nobody is here to rescue us. There is no Prince hugging his Oscar to save you Boo. And that’s ok. Because when they do step into rescue mode they still somehow manage to make it all about their dicks, I mean egos, and not about a deep-seated love of Black Women, community, and feminism. And therein lies the problem. Even when winning Black Women are not loved and adored for being themselves. Instead they have to bow to beauty standards and behaviours that don’t offend any of the other groups.
Priors – Chris Rock
Both men have misogynoir priors.
First Chris who seems to be getting a lot of love because he made a documentary on Black Women and their hair years ago. Let’s be real; he did this after his daughter was made to feel ugly for having ‘bad hair’. So once again he’s one of those men who identify a problem when it affects him and his spawn.
He also highlighted how little he knew about Black Women and their hair. As a Black Man that’s weird. How removed from Black Women was he despite being married to one at the time? Makes no sense.
Oh and then he leaves his wife and goes off with some Latina actress? OK son.
I’ve been to a number of his comedy shows and of course relationships are a big part of that. He doesn’t seem to like Black women generally. That could be comedy but there’s a bitterness there. He penned a whole movie about cheating on one “I think I love my wife” in which the way he sexualised the Kerry Washington ‘mistress’ tells you how he sees us.
Priors – Will Smith
Let’s be clear that Will has a light touch relationship with Black women. Both wives, whilst Black are light skinneded. His most public fight with the original Aunt Viv in Fresh Prince was based on him finding her attitude aggressive and entitled as she demanded fair treatment. Oh the irony. Bloopers showed him being rude and abrupt to Tatiana Ali. Most of his romantic on screen partners are light skinned. He’s not stanning for us. Simples.
So let’s be honest, neither of these jokers are true lovers of Black women, feminism or Black beauty. And that’s ok because they don’t have to be. It’s ok to perpetuate that internalised self hate and live your life. But then you attack us? Oh no Boo, that’s not on.
The Spoiled Prince
This Oscar slap sniffs of a ‘botched’ joke. The PR, viral memes (we love us new meme material) masks the fact that this was about two dicks in the room showing off because they are so delusional they think it’s ok to attack Black women in front of millions for clout. And then to use the whole prince trope and come and save her honour narrative like this is the 80s? Huh? If Will was really upset he would have kneed him in Chris’s toxic masculinity and kept it moving. But it wasn’t about defending his wife. It was about him being a spoiled prince who can do what he wants without it affecting his status.
Firstly the idea of a prince coming in and saving or rescuing a woman is dated. The whole skit last night felt dated. If a woman happens to meet a man who loves and adores her and wants to protect her from societal attacks then it’s appreciated but, is it necessary in a modern situationship? Probably not. But this was a prince who, once again, made it all about him fighting a knight who isn’t that funny.
And for those talking about how bad it looks for Black People out here then nah, I don’t agree. This isn’t about us as Will and Chris are celebrity Black. There’s a difference.
And Black Women
It would have been better not to see an attack of Black Women based on her looks. I mean, Jada isn’t the best actress or singer so there’s plenty of material that Chris Rock could have reached for with ease. Demeaning comments on looks are lazy. But we are used to this micro aggressive misogynoir to the point where we are told that we shouldn’t be so ‘sensitive’.
Child Q highlighted how Black girls are seen as less innocent in the eyes of society. Nobody is out here defending Black girls so what chance women? Even in heteronormative relationships Black Women are the least valued. So the idea that Will needed to make a public statement of disgust at Chris’s joke feels disingenuous. Especially when he initially laughed, not realising that it was in poor taste.
Back to the Fresh Prince of PR
Also I’m so tired of Will and Jada talking about their entanglements and relationships and sex lives and so much just to promote a film or a book. It’s great to see a Black couple doing well in Hollywood but we are EXHAUSTED by the constant insight into their relationship. Even more reason why the slap just fell flat for so many of us. We’re tired. As for Chris, I don’t follow him but I’m sure he’ll be releasing something soon.
So this wasn’t about defending Black Women, their hair, their looks, their right to not be public fodder for lazy comedians from the 90s. This was cheap.
Let’s fight misogynoir through language and jokes and demonstrating respect for Black Women please. Don’t be doling out bitch slaps and pretending it’s in our defence. And just a suggestion, maybe slap him in the wallet next time by not having him on your projects. Just a thought. The power of influence is mightier than the bitch slap. I’m here for the memes though as they don’t have Jada in them.
© Chelsea Black® 2022