What you see here is a screenshot.
I'm conflicted about putting it here because it does perpetuate something I am very uneasy about.
But I also need context for what I want to say, and so I have cropped it as much as possible.
The image is one I saw posted to a Facebook copywriting group where job opportunities are posted and writers promote themselves.
Someone manipulated that awful moment from Sunday's Oscar broadcast to promote their copywriting skills.
Where to begin with this?
I guess why?
Why would anyone think this is a good idea?
Why would anyone look at the context of that moment--an insensitive joke, someone's embarrassment, and an act of violence--and think, 'You know what? That's a great way to make a case for my skills.'
It's just wrong.
All of it.
For some reason, there is a line of thinking that whenever anything major happens in society, we all have to comment on it or use these moments for hot takes or memes or self-promotion.
But really, no.
For one, it doesn't speak well of anyone or any brand that would look at a moment like this and use it to say 'look at me.'
For another, it's exploitative.
You're using someone's pain as humor or to advance yourself.
Look, we all have thoughts on what happened.
Some are nuanced and well considered.
Some are kind of nascent.
Others are informed by lived experiences that determine where our sympathies lie here.
I think you can guess my thoughts here.
What happened on Sunday was not good for anyone involved.
Not for Chris Rock, who always seemed to me to be a sharper comedian who doesn't need to rely on cheap shots.
Not for Jada Pinkett-Smith, whose awful, life impacting condition was made into a joke.
And not for Will Smith, who restored to violence and then a rambling defense of his actions that not only left out an apology to Rock, which he later corrected, but also suggested he saw himself as an anointed protector of women, which is kind of grandiose.
Look, it was a complicated and unfortunate moment that changed all the narratives we thought we'd be engaging in about the 94th Oscars.
And it had major reverberations that we are still all processing.
But despite that, and the fact that it involved public figures, and was broadcast live to millions, and has been the source of hot takes and jokes, it is not an opportunity for self-promotion or any kind of branded content.
And if you resort to using a moment like this in such a way, it really reflects poorly on you.