It hasn't been an easy journey for the actress which suggests why Chris Rock's joke hit a nerve.
In one of the most shocking moments in the history of the Oscars, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards. The assault came after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. “Can’t wait for G.I. Jane 2,” Rock said, referencing the 1997 Demi Moore film G.I. Jane, in which the actor has a buzz cut. After he made the joke, 53-year-old Smith walked onto the stage and hit Rock, 57, right across the face. “Will Smith just smacked the sh*t out of me,” Rock said. After he returned to his seat, Smith shouted aggressively at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your f*cking mouth.” “Wow, dude,” Rock replied. “It was a G.I. Jane joke.”
Why would anyone be offended to be compared to GI Jane? Demi Moore was sexy and strong in that movie. If you’re offended by the reference then you probably never saw the movie or you are a thin-skinned baby who can’t take a joke. #teamChrisRock pic.twitter.com/Li3CX7gbMm— Eden (@subt3xt) March 28, 2022
Pinkett Smith has been dealing with hair loss for many years and perhaps the comedian's comments struck a nerve because it's been a difficult journey for her. The Gotham actress has previously opened up about her years-long struggle with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that attacks hair follicles, resulting in bald spots and hair loss. Back in December, she shared a video on Instagram showing off one of the bald spots caused by the disorder, captioning it: Mama's gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something😜 Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!
Jada Pinkett Smith has been candid about her alopecia. Here’s what to know about the hair loss condition. https://t.co/olHRf9X2D5— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 28, 2022
"Now at this point, I can only laugh," Pinkett Smith said as she pointed at a bald line patch along the center of her scalp. "Y'all know I've been struggling with alopecia and just all of a sudden one day, look at this line right here. Look at that. So it just showed up like that and this is going to be a little bit more difficult for me to hide. So I thought I'd just share it so y'all are not asking any questions. But you know mama's going to put some rhinestones in there. I'm going to make me a little crown. That's what mama's going to do," Pinkett Smith said.
Pinkett Smith also spoke about her "issues with hair loss" during an episode of her show Red Table Talk, saying that a "lot of people have been asking why I’ve been wearing turbans. Well, I haven’t talked about it. It’s not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it. It was terrifying when it first started. I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, ‘Oh my god, am I going bald?’ It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear. That’s why I cut my hair, and why I continue to cut it,” she added. "My hair has been a big part of me,” Pinkett Smith continued. “Taking care of my hair has been a beautiful ritual and having the choice to have hair or not. And then one day to be like, ‘Oh my god, I might not have that choice anymore.’"
More recently, she did seem to be embracing her appearance in the lead-up to the 94th annual Academy Awards. According to PEOPLE, she reportedly even discussed her hair journey in a TikTok video captioned, "✨Crown Act✨ Be proud of your crown❣️ #iamnotmyhair #hairjourney" where she said, "I don't give two craps what people think of this bald head of mine. Because guess what? I love it." Self-love is a journey, and sometimes there may be setbacks like comments from people that do hurt. But do you think Will Smith's response was justified?