Although our sense of humor differentiates us as independent beings, we can agree with the basic notion that certain jokes have the potential to be offensive. And if they don’t tell Will Smith that he couldn’t contain the violent impulse when he heard Chris Rock’s joke directed at his wife’s alopecia; or to all the Jews, blacks, Chinese, Andalusians, Galicians and a long etcetera who have had to laugh out loud or look the other way when stereotyped jokes don’t make them laugh. In the end, to laugh or not, to be offended or not, depends on each one’s sense of humor and our own emotional flexibility.

However, while Will Smith has apologized and begins the procession of repentance and cleaning up his image, Chris Rock continues to use the blissful slap for his stand-up tour of the United States. And with jokes in worse bad taste than Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia, creating a media circus that is no longer funny.

Just a few days ago, the comedian revealed during one of his shows in Phoenix, Arizona, that the Academy had offered him to host the next Oscar ceremony for the third time (he did it in 2005 and 2016), but that he had refused. Rock then compared taking the job to being like going back to a crime scene, joking that it would be the same as asking Nicole Brown Simpson to “go back to the restaurant.” That is, making a reference to the ex-wife of O.J. Simpson who was murdered hours after visiting an Italian restaurant where her friend and waiter Ron Goldman worked and forgetting a pair of glasses. The young man went to his house to return them and both were killed in the doorway.

According to the local Arizona Republic newspaper (via THR), the public asked Chris Rock to talk about the slap to the screams and Rock did. Not only with this tasteless joke, but also making a reference to Will Smith and his performance as the boxer Muhammed Ali in the 2001 drama. “He’s bigger than me” he said. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and him.”

Well, the first to feel offended was the sister of the murdered woman, Tanya Brown, who published her response on social networks, calling the joke “disgusting.” “Nothing is more beautiful than waking up on a Tuesday morning to TMZ calling you saying Chris Rock made a horrible joke about Nicole,” she wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the actor at the Oscars. “There was nothing funny about him pranking Jada given that she suffers from a physical condition and there is nothing funny about equating an invitation to host the Oscars with a double homicide. I always thought it was funny, but it has crossed a line this time ”he wrote to conclude by asking her to stop using his sister, OJ and Ron as part of their“ crispy comedy act ”because“ there are families behind this tragedy ”.

The networks did not take long to react in the US, where the sensitivity for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson stabbed in 1994, as well as the trial that released OJ Simpson, is still latent among the population as it is one of the most media of the last century. And just as Chris Rock won the sympathy of a large section of the public by receiving the slap, so he is quickly losing it.

And it is that there are many who are pouring criticism against him, even turning the conversation around by suggesting that he deserved Smith’s slap after all with a tweet that has more than 17,000 likes.

Obviously, as a victim of the slap, Chris Rock can live the experience, share it and do what he wants with it. And while many comedians believe that when it comes to humor, there should be a fine, fuzzy line of acceptance so that we can laugh at everything without taking offense, then those affected by jokes can live it their own way, too.

Chris Rock has joked in the past how much the slap would have hurt him, physically and emotionally, when he said on another of his shows that “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face. I’m not a victim, Yeah that shit hurt, but I shook it off and went to work the next day” (Variety). However, what happens when his pranks consequently hurt those he uses for humor? Comparing the offer to return to the Oscars stage with the murder of an innocent woman, without anyone ever paying for it, seems to me to be one of the worst jokes I have heard in a long time.

Going back to the Oscars means prestige, money and recognition for anyone who wants to play host. Nicole can no longer go back anywhere, nor will her family be able to turn the page completely. These types of jokes sound conceited and haughty, with a lack of tact that only feeds a media circus that is about to turn the page.

And while many comedians have spoken of the trauma that Will Smith’s slap left them with by teaching the world a violent response to offense, Chris Rock continues to use it for the benefit of his show with tasteless jokes that continue to offend needlessly.

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