Chris Rock hasn’t exactly been getting the worst of it after Best Actor winner Will Smith’s “shocking” on-stage assault at the Academy Award ceremonies. While Smith has publicly apologized to Rock and is expected to be hiding for a brief period until the situation is resolved, Rock himself appears to be sulking, even though ticket prices and the sales for his comedy show have increased following the slap that was heard all over the globe.
The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles is taking part in the laughter. The famous comedy club put up a sign that praised Chris Rock on Tuesday and also supported freedom of speech, which is a hot issue within comedy circles at the moment. The Laugh Factory on Monday changed its marquee to support Rock. The marquee's design featured an image of Rock with a bold message: “Laugh Factory is in support of First Amendment rights for all comedians. We love comedy and will be there for Chris.”
Famous comedians have taken to social media to hit on the issue.
“Let me tell you something, it's a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a comedian,” Kathy Griffin tweeted on Twitter. “Now we have to be concerned about who will become ‘the new’ Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters.”
George Takei said Smith's losing his cool was an unflattering appearance when so many watched. “Many viewers, including youngsters, look up to actors. As a result, we are required to act as the best role models for our children. With fame comes responsibility.”
Judd Apatow was highly critical of Smith in a deleted tweet, calling the violence “out of control rage and violence.” He also noted how celebrities have been the subject of jokes for years. “They've heard a million jokes about them over the past three years. They're not newcomers within the realm of Hollywood and comedy. He lost his way.”
Celebrities aren't the most “aware” group of people, so these reactions leave one wondering whether they're beginning to realize the horrendous realities of the cancel the comedy and culture snowflakes. Perhaps this is a moment of change? While not holding our breath, let's hope they remember what they said when they next try to disqualify someone for an absurdity.