"When Will Smith stormed onto the Oscar stage to strike Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s short hair, he did a lot more damage than just to Rock’s face. With a single petulant blow, he advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community.
Some have romanticized Smith’s actions as that of a loving husband defending his wife. Actually, it was the opposite. Smith’s slap was also a slap to women.
This patronizing, paternal attitude infantilizes women and reduces them to helpless damsels needing a Big Strong Man to defend their honor least they swoon from the vapors.
Worse than the slap was Smith’s tearful, self-serving acceptance speech.
The Black community also takes a direct hit from Smith. One of the main talking points from those supporting the systemic racism in America is characterizing Blacks as more prone to violence and less able to control their emotions. Smith just gave comfort to the enemy by providing them with the perfect optics they were dreaming of.
As for the damage to show business, Smith’s violence is an implied threat to all comedians who now have to worry that an edgy or insulting joke might be met with violence.
The one bright note is that Chris Rock, clearly stunned, managed to handle the moment with grace and maturity. If only Smith’s acceptance speech had shown similar grace and maturity—and included, instead of self-aggrandizing excuses, a heartfelt apology to Rock.
I like Will Smith. He’s charming, sincere, and funny. I’m also a big fan of his movies. He’s an accomplished and dedicated actor who deserves the professional accolades he’s received. I don’t want to see him punished or ostracized because of this one, albeit a big one, mistake. I just want this to be a cautionary tale for others not to romanticize or glorify bad behavior. "
"Wealth provides financial agency over one’s life, Wealth gives you choice. It provides the economic security to take risks and shield against financial loss.
With wealth, you can afford the best health care, live in the safest neighborhoods, get the best education, and hire the best lawyers to fight for your interests.
Wealth lets you innovate and try new things, like opening a business.
Most of all, once you have wealth, it can be invested and grow exponentially over your lifetime. And you can pass this wealth and all its advantages down to the next generation."
"In September 2021, Perkins and Obrecht made a surprise announcement. The couple owned 31% of Canva at its latest valuation, putting their personal net worth somewhere around $12.4 billion. They were now donating 97% of their stake—30% of all Canva’s shares or $12 billion—to the Canva Foundation, which they created earlier that year with a mission to solve some of the biggest, foundational problems around poverty. (The couple retains their voting rights in the company.) “I have this very wildly optimistic belief that there is enough money and goodwill in the world to solve all of the world’s problems,” says Perkins of the decision.
They’d already signed the 1% pledge, giving 1% of Canva’s resources and profits to charity (and would later sign the Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half of their net worth to philanthropy during their lives or upon their death). “Who needs billions of dollars?” Perkins asks bluntly. “There’s nothing enjoyable to do with billions of dollars. That’s an absurd thing.”
“If the whole thing was about building wealth, that would be the most uninspiring thing I could possibly imagine.”