We are now on day three of slap commentary. We’ve heard from just about every comedian about how this is the worst thing to happen to their community since Lenny Bruce was arrested for profanity. We’ve gotten takes in every major outlet about how the slap related to masculinity (generally), masculinity (Black), and masculinity (toxic). What more can be said about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock?
I guess I could say it was fake. That would be disingenuous, though, because despite what the cheek pad truthers have to say, it was obviously very real. However, there are definitely some people and entities who are benefitting from the slap. So much so that your grandparents might be convinced that this was the work of the Illuminati if I made a compelling enough meme and put it on Facebook.
If you’re reading this and thinking no one benefitted from this, you need to open your eyes. Here is everyone and everything that has gained some amount of caché from what is likely to be the most famous slap of all time.
Ratings for the Academy Awards have been in the toilet for years now, and this year’s ceremony had a 58 percent increase in viewers from last year. 16.6 million people tuned in to the show, and viewership spiked during the slap, Smith’s acceptance speech, and Troy Kotsur’s acceptance speech. What would ratings have been without the slap? We’ll never know, but I imagine they would have been abysmal.
Red Table Talk/Facebook
There have been a few reports that Smith will discuss the slap on wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Facebook Watch show. The last time the Smiths made major headlines for what was perceived by the public as a cheating scandal, they took themselves to the Red Table. That video has been viewed 38 million times. I don’t know much, but I know that Mark Zuckerberg & Co were probably pretty excited when they realized that they’d have the exclusive scoop on the slap.
Finally, they’ve become a persecuted class. Amy Schumer feels “triggered.” Michael Che thinks it was “childish.” Judd Apatow thinks a single slap is enough to kill a man. This is their moment to finally talk about how dangerous it is to perform comedy to a live audience, and they are basking in it.
Who was thinking about G.I. Jane before Rock’s joke? It’s not even the most famous movie featuring a woman with a shaved head anymore — a Mad Max: Fury Road joke might have been less confusing. Demi Moore stock is going up!
This one’s a bit of a thinker. No one is talking about him as much as they are Smith, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have something to gain here. The comedian was papped in Boston today, where he’s set to kick off his tour with a five-show run of sold out performances. Who’s not going to go see if Rock incorporates becoming the most famous victim in the world into his set? If you’re near the Hollywood, Florida area, there are still plenty of tickets for Rock’s show at Hard Rock Live on April 14. Maybe I’ll see you there.