Will Smith is still a husband. And I challenge any man who loves his wife deeply to tell me they might not do something similar, or at least seriously consider it, if someone made a joke about your wife's condition she is sensitive about.
That joke would not have changed my reaction. That, to a ten year old that's already being bullied over his condition, is no different than just calling him baldy. Maybe worse because you are making that child the butt of the joke.
My son had alopecia areata when he was 10. He was made fun of and bullied in school over it. One day, at his soccer game a parent called him baldy from the sidelines and I heard it.
Can't say I reacted much differently than Will Smith. Being a coach, it was a bad look. But every player on my team thanked me and a slew of parents gave me "Well done" pats on the back.
Alopecia is a tough disease to handle for those that should have full heads of hair, kids and women, especially. Whoever allowed that joke to be included should be fired. If Rock improvised it, don't bring him back.
As for Will, as with me, not a good look, but I completely understand his passion, rage and what he did and why.
I'm personally in the camp of I don't find the joke (GI Jane, not baldy) offensive. Because being called GI Jane is not really an insult (to me).
So let me ask you this, if that guy at the soccer game said something like, "who's guarding Mr. Clean?" would you be as upset? To me, that's more like what the GI Jane joke is, more "lighthearted" not really derogatory.
And I'm someone who went through chemo at 16-17,went completely hairless, and had a lot of bald jokes made about me (mostly Powder), not all were funny, but none were insulting, because let's face it, I was bald. But I'm also a guy with thick skin, not a younger kid or a woman, who I can understand might not have the same outlook as me.
Kids should always be off-limits. Whether it's mean-spirited or "joking", that stuff can cut deep.
In the case of Pinkett-Smith, getting gently roasted is part of choosing to be in the public eye. I might feel differently if she was a non-celebrity, but she has chosen this life and through some of her statements and actions has made herself somebody who can should expect some silly barbs.
There has been some more barbed jokes about the open marriage and Pinkett-Smith's boyfriends during award season, and I'm wondering if that underlies some of this. But, maybe not; I'm sure the Smiths aren't the only couple to have an "arrangement"; it's probably most notable because it's the woman, rather than just the man, who "benefits".
I said what Smith did was not right but I understand the passion and emotions that drove him to do it. I think most people would if put in a similar position. Whether they be public individuals or not. In the end you're still a husband, wife, mom or dad and shutting down those protective emotions aren't easy.
It isn't ever up to anyone to determine what is/isn't or should/shouldn't be offensive to another human being. Not everyone with alopecia responds the same way and even though Jada remains poised despite having a patch of no hair doesn't mean she isn't sensitive to it and entitled to feel offended.
My daughter had alopecia (in her 20's) and handled it extremely lightly and likely would have laughed genuinely if made fun of. Doesn't make it right, but we all respond differently. Your 10 year old son being bullied and picked on, especially by an adult -- I understand being incensed and coming to his defense. In no way do I understand modeling violence as a reasonable first response. I get the fury, I get thoughts of violence, but I don't get the acts if violence when there are other options.
And now with regard to a grown woman who is perfectly capable of protecting and defending herself. Will Smith sees himself as her defender and is unable to control his impulse. It doesn't occur to him that this was a joke directed at Jada and that she doesn't require her "man" to protect her. Smith's utterly grandiose speech minutes later reveals a man who seems to think he has a special mission on Earth as a vesicle of love and as a messenger. And clearly he is of the self-serving delusion that his violence is evidence of love rather than evidence of incompetence as a mature human being. Will Smith is a model (in whatever behavior he chooses to model) for all children, especially those who learn how to behave from "grown men" outside their family because they don't have that model within their family. He displayed for all to see that "grown men" handle their anger with aggression and violence followed of course by tears, rationalizations, self-aggrandizing struggles (his personal martyrdom), and eventually if needed, contrition. It isn't evidence of being a "man", quite the contrary.
And to those who may think, "well, Chris Rock won't be putting down Jada again" (justifying the violence)... the reality is that he increased the likelihood that edgy comics like Rock and thousands of others will now, in all likelihood, make Will/Jada jokes for months/years to come.