You probably did not miss THE slap of Will Smith earlier this week.
It’s the best thing that possibly could have happened to the Oscars.
Yes, I mean it. It’s the crisis the Oscars needed to finally implement the change required. The real question here is not what will happen to Will Smith but what will happen to the Oscars.
The concept of the Oscars has been surpassed by modern times. Organizing once a year to a far too long award show to celebrate the best movies, actors, and actresses is a concept from the last century.
Over the years, the show has tried to become quicker, more diverse, more inclusive, and has changed the moderator concept many times but never dared to truly disrupt itself.
And so, Will Smith had to stand up and be the disruptor the Academy (the official name of the Oscars) desperately needed.
Thank you, Will!
We owe you one. Of course, it wasn’t nice of Chris Rock to insult your wife, but those jokes are part of the Oscars concept, and you should know this better than anyone else.
You could have counted to ten, taken a few extra breaths, done a little mini-meditation, whisper words of encouragement to your wife, and decide to address this with Chris after the show in a respectful way.
Instead, you gave him a slap in the face. Apparently, you were not angry enough to punch him in the face, so there was some awareness of what you were doing.
Anyway, we now have a real crisis on our hands.
In the aftermath of the event, Will Smith has in the meantime apologized, the Academy has started legal procedures, Chris Rock has stated he still needs to process the event, and at the end of the week, Will Smith withdrew from the Academy as a member.
In all honesty, and not justifying what happened, the whole aftermath is a bit overblown for a Dutch guy from the farmer’s countryside of the Netherlands. People get angry and do stupid things sometimes.
But in Tinseltown, this is a true crisis.
As always, every crisis is also an opportunity.
This is the opportunity for the Academy to disrupt itself even further and initiate a complete overhaul of the movie awards concept. I mean it. Again.
Over the years, the movie industry has evolved dramatically.
You can now watch movies whenever you want, wherever you want. You can even produce your own movie and have it go viral. The movie world has changed, but not the award ceremony. Our younger generation is unwilling to sit for four hours to watch how the prizes get divided.
On a bigger scale, but related. The world has evolved to a level that any joke may face repercussions. Because in these times of heightened, and justified awareness of diversity and inclusion, you’re likely to always insult somebody.
So, dear members of the Academy, it’s time to move on and change.
Will Smith just gave you your cue. But whether the change will happen is doubtful. Old habits don’t quickly die. And too much money is on the line. Right?
A few words in conclusion about Will himself.
He has issued a public statement and withdrawn from the Academy. That means only that he can’t vote anymore. He can still be nominated and receive Oscars.
He has talked to his PR advisors, and they advised him to hang low for a while to protect his carefully built brand. He issued a public statement, which he ended with the words:
I’m a work in progressWill Smith
We all are.
However, sometimes the world around us lets us believe that we’re perfect. It provides us with all the superlatives of praise, so much so that we almost believe they’re all true.
With inflated egos and an air of invincibility as a consequence.
Just like those companies or institutions that won’t disrupt themselves. So something or somebody else has to do it for them.
Will Smith did the Academy a favor.
Like Chris Rock did Will Smith a favor.
Things happen for a reason, baby!
Let’s see who takes up the glove, finds the lesson inside, and comes out better at the other end.
Work in progress means that we do our own self-reflection and realize there’s always room for improvement. Don’t let somebody disrupt you, better do it to yourself.
Your turn: work in progress (or not)?
Do more of what makes you happy!
What are you waiting for?
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