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5 Lessons I Learned from Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock

will smith assault Chris Rock, Will Smith crying, Oscars, victim, narcissist, ego, violence, Hollywood hypocrisy, Love makes you do crazy things

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to like to reveal 5 lessons I learned from Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.

First a quick update: 

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Will Smith Laughed At The Joke Before He Slapped Chris Rock

About 15 million people in the US watched the 94th Annual Academy Awards. But more than 80 million people have watched the video clip of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.

Chris Rock made a joke about the hairstyle of Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, referencing the movie G.I. Jane, in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head. Pinkett Smith shaved her head because she has alopecia. Smith laughed at the joke but when his wife rolled her eyes, Smith walked on stage and hit Chris Rock across the face. He returned to his seat, and shouted back, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth.”

Later the same night, Smith won the award for best actor for his role playing the real-life father of Serena and Venus Williams.

Here are the 5 lessons I learned from Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.

1. Your Values Are Meaningless Words, Unless You Act Upon Them


Hollywood and Will Smith endlessly preach via movies, television programs and of course, via interviews and speeches during awards shows. They act holy and righteous preaching values about politics, love, unity, peace, humility, violence, domestic violence, racism, sexism, and prejudice.


I. Will Smith loses emotional control and slaps/assaults Chris Rock during a live awards show.

II. Hollywood (Academy organizers and people attending the show) take no action against the violence. They allow Smith to give an acceptance speech while the Hollywood audience gives him a standing ovation.

It is so effortless to speak and make claims about who you are, what you are, and what you stand for. But your values only become known and true when you are tested, and when your actions fully reflect those values.

2. Don’t Run From Your Emotions – Face Them

Guilt and shame are often presented as evil and negative. They are not! It depends on context. Guilt is your conscience reflecting your values and what you know to be right and wrong. Guilt tells you when you have done something wrong. Shame is the belief that there is something innately wrong with you. Feeling ashamed is different; feeling ashamed of yourself is when you know you have done something that is degrading, disgraceful, boorish, embarrassing or wrong – when you have hurt of wronged someone – again against your own values.

Will Smith cried during his entire acceptance speech. But he was crying because he felt guilty and ashamed because he slapped Chris Rock. He ran from those emotions. He could have faced them and told the audience, ‘I feel guilty and ashamed of my actions – for I have let myself down, I have wronged others – including Chris Rock and everyone here and watching this show.’

You cannot run from yourself or your emotions; you cannot escape them via denial, delusion or blaming others.

“I am a lawyer; I have seen almost every criminal defendant do the same thing when they are afraid to face the consequences of their actions, and judges know this, too. The kind of people who act on emotion and impulse do not have genuine remorse. Crying was just Will Smith’s way of pleading for sympathy and forgiveness.”

Robert Perry

3. Hold Yourself Fully Accountable For Your Actions

Will Smith in his acceptance speech for best actor, takes no responsibility for his violent act slapping Chris Rock. Instead, he blames others – playing the victim, making himself out to be a hero for defending his family, and claims he is doing God’s work.

Helpless victim: “I know to do what we do, you’ve got to be able to take abuse, you’ve got to be able to have people talk crazy about you.”

Narcissist: “I am overwhelmed by what God is calling me to do and be in this world.”

Self-Professed Hero: “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people.”

Self-Delusion and justification for violence and uncontrollable rage: “But love will make you do crazy things.”

“He blamed God for making him so protective; he blamed the devil that appeared in his highest moment; he blamed Richard Williams the man he was playing, saying that he was acting like Williams; and finally, he blamed love for his violence…he blamed everyone but himself.”

Reader online

4. Don’t Place Anyone On A Pedestal – Particularly Celebrities

We all desire to have someone to look up to – someone we can idolize or at least emulate. I did not have that in my father so I looked around, only to find that when you place someone on a pedestal, thinking they are superior, they will, by their actions, take themselves off that pedestal.

Yes, I did hold Will Smith in high regard, and he took himself off the pedestal and reminded me to never place celebrities on any pedestal. Even Denzel Washington failed to seize an opportunity to teach and help Will Smith. Instead of correcting Smith for slapping Chris Rock, Denzel Washington encouraged him to play a victim and narcissist by saying to Smith: “At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.” These words support the belief that we are helpless and that the awards or profession of acting is so significant that the Devil will come after you.

Will Smith: You’re suffering your perception of all of those things, you’re suffering how you…

Sadhguru: You’re a bad director of your own drama.

Will Smith: Yes exactly!

Sadhguru: You stay wonderful! You never give up that you’re wonderful…Do not surrender your wonderfulness no matter who the hell does what! Let them do whatever!

Excerpt from spiritual Guru Sadghuru’s visit with Will Smith and family in October, 2020

Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock – Smith And Hollywood Are Hypocrites

5. Children Copy You First Before They Copy Your Imposed Mentors Or Guides

I teach that children learn 4 ways:

1. They watch and copy what they see

2. They listen and believe what they are told, particularly about themselves

3. They have individual experiences and make inaccurate interpretations, often blaming themselves

4. They absorb the emotions of the household or dominant parent or the one they most resonated with

But what I left out of my teachings is that a parent’s attempt to teach children spirituality via a so-called “Guru” will not trump the actions of a father. Will Smith via his power and status brought Sadhguru (an Indian guru) to his home in 2020 to teach his children spirituality and non-materialism.


Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in a matter of seconds, and his example impacted his son more than hours of lectures or teachings by a guru: A few hours after the assault,  Smith’s son Jaden Tweeted in support of his father’s violence, “And That’s How We Do It!”

We are human and make mistakes; the way we respond to our mistakes determines our final results!

If you had adverse childhood experiences including trauma, you can resolve it rapidly and easily, and be set free of the pain with my SRTT process. Book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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