OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Comedian and host of the HBO show “Real Time,” Bill Maher, had a ton to say regarding the controversy surrounding Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock at the Oscars.
The slap came after Rock made a quip about Smith’s wife, Jada, being bald and likened her to the next “G.I. Jane,” a movie in which actress Demi Moore played a soldier and shaved near bald for the part.
Jada Smith was said to be hurt by the comment as she suffers from a medical condition called alopecia which causes baldness. But Maher thought it was an overreaction.
He asked his guests Laura Coates and Andrew Yang about the condition that he believes is relatively minor.
“Can I ask about alopecia? Because I must admit, when I, first, I saw the thing on TV, then I go to the Vanity Fair party, great party. And then I didn’t hear about it until then that she had, but you don’t know she had alopecia, and I had heard this word, but it was vague in my mind what it was. So I went like, Oh, well, that’s a very different thing. And then I found out what it is, and I’m like, Oh, no, it’s not that different,” he said.
“I mean, if you are so lucky in life as to have that be your medical problem, just say thanks, God. It’s it’s it’s not. It’s not life-threatening. You know, it’s part of, for most people, 80 percent of men, 50 percent of it’s part of aging, of aging is. Trust me, I know, it’s the degradation of the flesh. It happens to all of us. And, you know, just put on a f***ing wig like everybody else at the Oscars if it bothers you so much. I mean, we all. We all, as we age, you know, we look worse. And you do things to deal with it as best you can. You know, I got my hair did this week.That’s my thing. I, my hair. My hair would be white and it would look worse on TV and people would think I’m older than I already am, which is already too f***ing old for television. I’ll do what I have to do. Everybody else does. Timothee Chalamet wore a tuxedo with no shirt because he can get away with it. But. I wouldn’t want to see Jonah Hill try it. We all got to deal with who we are and, am I wrong about this?” he said.
“I don’t know. I woke up like this, so I don’t… I mean, a little of vaseline and cornstarch helps. But no, I agree with you, I mean there, I agree with the extent that we all have to do the things we have to do to be where we are,” Coates responded.
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“However, I can imagine at one point, and just thinking about being in Hollywood, as she is, the idea of how much we look at women as they age, as opposed to Bill Maher aging or Andrew Yang aging. There is a different standard for women, and Black women in Hollywood in particular about the idea of how we are expected, I’m saying we like I’m in Hollywood, we in D.C., but you have to conform to certain aspects of it, and I think there’s probably a part of her that has been very, very empowered by being vocal about her alopecia and saying, Look, I’m owning it, I’m shaving my head. I feel like I am going to take this by the horns. And there’s probably those quiet moments with her husband when he is seeing and hearing a more personal aspect of it. But either way, the idea that we could all assume that everyone was aware of her condition at the time the statement was made, I think is a bit of an arrogance,” she said.
But Maher was not having it.
“It’s a condition like life is a condition, you know? Yes. S**t happens as you go down the path of life, and physically, it’s not all going to be roses. It just isn’t. And again, like on the scale of what I need to worry about or feel sorry about, I can’t get there,” he said.