As someone who is quite the minority (not that it’s a competition), the world can be a very frightening place. All it takes is one event to rock your reality — the safety and comfort you feel day-to-day can change in an instant.
In a similar vein, some members of the entertainment industry are seeing that their world is no longer a safe place. Apparently, to be a comedian is to be a part of a race that is constantly in danger.
Comedians are under attack. They aren’t safe on the stage. They aren’t safe from cancel culture. They aren’t even allowed to make jokes anymore, and that fact displayed itself clear as day when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars on Sunday.
Since then, members of the comedy community have bravely been confronting a harsh reality — what if they are one day the Chris Rock and a Will Smith is in their audience?
As one comedian said to NBC News, "Why is this allowed? If Will Smith can punch Chris Rock at the Oscars, what chance do I stand at a Chuckle Hut in Kansas?" Good question.
Today, this pressing issue went all the way to the White House. During a press briefing, Simon Ateba, the Chief White House Correspondent for Today Africa News, asked White House communications director Kate Bedingfield if the government condoned the type of violence we saw on Sunday, and if they had any immediate plans to support comedians and other artists who have been attacked:
With so much coming to light now, we must ask ourselves: How much longer will we turn away from the plight of the most oppressed entertainers? And how can we protect them from the imminent dangers they face on the front lines of empty comedy clubs across America and some of Europe?