If you wanted to know the period between people talking about the Will Smith slap and switching to people making fun of him, that time is now. Rebel Wilson destroyed Smith at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).
Her statements suggests that Wilson would be in danger from Smith because of her joke. Critics might say that is unfair. Does anyone think that Will Smith would have gone up to the stage at the Academy Awards and hit The Rock if he were up there instead of Chris Rock? Chris Rock is not a large man, at all. He is the classic class clown, using humor to compensate for his small stature.
We have always allowed comedians to say things other people are not allowed to. They are the pressure valve of society. They speak truth to power. It is agreed upon in polite society that we grin and bear their jokes, especially if we are rich and famous like Will Smith. When you break that rule you effectively declare war on comedians.
The funny people in our society consider themselves in a club. Even if they publicly do not like one another if you attack the group, you do so at your peril. Will Smith can expect relentless jokes at his and his wife’s expense for years to come. The act of reacting to words with violence is never appropriate. There is the added problem that comics must let the world know if you hit them on stage because of a joke, you will be publicly shamed by the entire class of comedians to discourage such behavior.
To make matters worse, this is not the case of an anonymous drunk heckler who got out of hand at the alligator hut in some small town in Louisiana. This was the biggest entertainment award show in the world with hundreds of millions of people watching. It is hard to see how Will Smith’s brand ever recovers. Some might say he deserves it.