• Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Will Smith Assault at Oscars, Milwaukee Alopecia Support Group Leader Responds

ByJulie J. Helfer

Mar 28, 2022

There are a lot of questions about what should happen to Will Smith for assaulting Chris Rock at the Oscars, and for some, the initial joke that sparked the assault hits close to home.

“I was a little shocked,” Raeanne King said.

“It was a little crazy,” said Mariah Cunningham.

“It was out of pocket, that’s for sure,” Ethan Tourangeau said.

This is probably the first thing you saw while browsing social media.

“I thought it was crazy,” Tavist Cannon said. “I didn’t expect that from Will.”

“I just thought, ‘Wow,'” Erica Johnson said.

“It’s justified in a way, but maybe not a slap in the face,” Isabellah von Drasek said.

At the Oscars on Sunday night, Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness. The actress has been open about her battle with alopecia. Her husband, Will Smith, then came on stage and slapped Rock.

“I’ve heard of it, but I don’t know exactly what it is,” King said.

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“Yes. It’s like there are clumps of hair missing, isn’t it?” Cannon said.

“Yes. My mother did indeed have the disease,” von Drasek said.

Alopecia causes the body to attack its own hair follicles, causing hair loss. It affects 6.8 million people in the United States alone. It’s something Brittany Flogel has been experiencing for over a decade.

“I don’t know if he was unaware of his alopecia or not, but he definitely crossed the line,” said Flogel, manager of the Greater Milwaukee Alopecia Support Group.

Flogel says Rock’s comment deserved a reaction.

“I don’t necessarily know how to slap him, but I felt a moment of pride because he was standing up for his wife,” Flogel said.

She said that whenever she receives a negative comment about her hair loss, she makes it an opportunity to educate.

“Everyone should learn to be nicer and be more aware of what else might be going on and not judge people on their looks,” Flogel said.

As “the slap” takes over social media, Flogel hopes people will pause their scrolling and learn more about the condition that affects millions of people every day.

The Oscars film academy condemned Smith’s slapping and said it was exploring other consequences.