He Got In One Little Fight…

Will Smith, Chris Rock, and our growing culture of cruelty.

Steve QJ
4 min readMar 29, 2022
Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

There’s no way to adequately express how cool I thought Will Smith was when I was a kid. So I’ll just put it this way:

If I’d had an older brother when I was growing up, Will Smith would have ruined his life.

Every morning, as we brushed our teeth, I’d have pointed out that no matter how diligently he flossed, his smile would never be quite as dazzling as Will Smith’s was when he met Eva Mendes in Hitch.

If his grades faltered, I’d have reminded him that in the Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith completes a fiercely competitive, unpaid internship whilst homeless, studying for (and acing) the stockbroker’s exam, and single-handedly caring for his five-year-old son. He also teaches himself how to solve a Rubik’s cube.

As he prepared to make his way in the world, I’d have whispered in his ear that DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince released their Grammy award-winning hit “Summertime” when Smith was just 22 years old. The same year he won his iconic role as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

And as he grappled with crippling self-doubt, I’d have sympathised, of course.

But not nearly as profoundly as I did with Will Smith’s character in Seven Pounds.

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Steve QJ

Race. Politics. Culture. Sometimes other things. Almost always polite. Find more at https://steveqj.substack.com