Thursday, August 11, 2022

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Says Oscars Slap ‘Perpetuated Stereotypes About Black Community’

Kareem nba icon

*Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has condemned Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock during the Oscars telecast on Sunday. 

While presenting an award at the Oscars Sunday, Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. The actress suffers from alopecia, so her hubby Will was not amused that Rock mocked her. The veteran actor walked on stage and slapped the comedian before returning to his seat in the audience and yelling “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”

According to TMZ, Rock allegedly had no idea Jada’s hair loss is due to alopecia — even though she’s been speaking publicly about it for years. 

In a blog post titled “Will Smith Did a Bad, Bad Thing,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote that “with a single petulant blow, (Smith) advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community.”

READ MORE: Chris Rock Publicly Addresses Oscars Incident for the First Time | VideoReport

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock - GettyImages
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock – GettyImages

The NBA legend went on to say that Smith’s act of violence perpetuates negative racial stereotypes. 

“One of the main talking points from those supporting the systemic racism in America is characterizing Blacks as more prone to violence and less able to control their emotions,” Abdul-Jabbar, 74, wrote. “Smith just gave comfort to the enemy by providing them with the perfect optics they were dreaming of. Many will be reinvigorated to continue their campaign to marginalize African Americans and others through voter suppression campaign.”

After slapping Rock, Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Serena and Venus Williams‘ father, Richard Williams, in the biopic “King Richard.”

Abdul-Jabbar said “Smith’s tearful, self-serving acceptance speech” was “about justifying his violence… Those who protect don’t brag about it in front of 15 million people. They just do it and shut up. You don’t do it as a movie promotion claiming how you’re like the character you just won an award portraying.”

Abdul-Jabbar said “Young boys — especially Black boys — watching their movie idol not just hit another man over a joke, but then justify it as him being a superhero-like protector, are now much more prone to follow in his childish footsteps,” Jabbar wrote. 

A day after the debacle, Smith issued an apology to Rock on his Instagram account, writing, “There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith wrote. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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