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  • Writer's pictureDillan Taylor

What I learned from Will Smith’s slap

I never thought I’d use this blog to respond to pop culture, but here we are.

Anyone with eyes knows about what happened at the Academy Awards. People seem strangely divided on their opinions. I’m not going to dive into mine here.

I just want to share an insight I had when I first read about it and watched the uncensored video.

My emotional reaction was something like: Oh my God, that’s not the Will I know!

Once I felt that, I started laughing. I don’t know this man even a little bit. In fact, I know more about the characters he’s played in movies and on television than I do about him.

For some reason, when someone is famous or in the public eye, we get a false sense of familiarization. We build internal relationships with them. We say things like, “I adore her,” or, “I can’t fucking stand that guy.”

Either way, we truly have no idea what it’d be like to sit down with this person and have coffee with them. Maybe they’re as outgoing and humble as they seem. Maybe they’re an asshole. We. Don’t. Know.

And we’re not supposed to know. Actors used to have a mystique about them. You know, back in the good old days before I was born. Here’s an entertaining video explaining why modern actors just don’t shine the same.

My point is: We should judge a person’s work, not the person themselves.

Having millions of dollars and being known by millions of people doesn’t make someone more ethical, more intelligent, or more rational. Those things become harder with more money and power.

They’re just as smart and as stupid as we are. They’re not Gods. They get jealous and cranky. They make mistakes.

The difference is that when we slip up, a few people at most will hear about it. When Will Smith does something idiotic, billions of people to come will see it unfold.

Was I disgusted by what he did?

Of course.

Will I go see the next movie he stars in?

Of course.

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