Everyone is still reeling from the Slap Heard ‘Round the World. We’re quite obviously talking about about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars over a dumb joke Rock made about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss. Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, and in slapping Chris Rock, Will Smith was taking a stand on behalf of all those who suffer from hair loss, because it’s never, ever, ever funny to make fun of someone else’s hair loss.
Except, of course, for when it is:
Will Smith's happy to ridicule others about being bald– when he made this disparaging joke about Bass player in Arsenio Hall's band, would it have been OK for gentleman in the band to stride onto the stage, physically assault & humiliate him, then shout him down with profanities? pic.twitter.com/7OJr9LcKaF
— txtworld 🚛 (@txtworld) March 30, 2022
For what it’s worth, Snopes has bravely ridden to Smith’s defense, digging deeply into the incident to see if Smith really is a giant hypocrite:
Did Will Smith once do the exact same thing — make a bald joke directed at a person with alopecia — that led him to hit Chris Rock at the Oscars?
❌ No, and here's how we know: https://t.co/nRpa73Dher
— snopes.com (@snopes) March 30, 2022
The clip appears to come from a February 1991 episode of “The Arsenio Hall Show.” In the clip, Smith makes a joke about Hall’s bassist, John B. Williams, saying “he has a rule, the bass player, he has to wax his head every morning.” A longer version of Smith’s 1991 appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show” can be seen below. The bald joke takes place around the 6:30 mark.
While Smith did make a bald joke during this appearance, there’s no evidence that Williams, like Pinkett Smith, has alopecia. We looked over Williams’ bio on his website, profiles of the artist, and several interviews, and found no mention of Williams having alopecia. It appears that this claim was made up out of whole cloth in order to increase the video’s virality by making Smith’s actions appear especially hypocritical.
Let’s get this straight: Will Smith punched Chris Rock on (inter)national TV because Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss, and Will Smith once made a joke on national TV about someone else’s hair loss, and according to Snopes’ calculations, Smith is not a hypocrite.
The author could at least have looked alopecia up on Wikipedia before this article…
— LatCit (@LatCit154) March 30, 2022
They could also note that Williams has specifically stated he doesn't have alopecia. pic.twitter.com/kqGSmSH76F
— b̴͇̂r̶̳̊i̶̤͋â̶̖n̸̬̅ ̸͓́c̶͚̍ľ̴̝e̴̲̒g̸͈̅ǵ̷🌱🐿 (@briclegg) March 30, 2022
According to the Mayo Clinic, “alopecia” is the medical term for hair loss. So it appears that Williams just suffered from a different form of alopecia from Jada Pinkett Smith’s. In any event, Williams, like Pinkett Smith, lost his hair due to circumstances beyond his control — and Will Smith decided to make a joke about it.
Sorry, Snopes, but we’re assigning your fact-check a rating of “LOUSY.”
To change your comments display name, click here.