Attorney J. Wyndal Gordon is an author, respected trial attorney, and solo practitioner born in Washington, D.C, and raised in Maryland. Gordon is known as the “warrior lawyer” and has been a frequent legal commentator and contributor for TruTv, CNN, and Headline News (HLN).
Like many of us, Gordon was a virtual witness to the slap heard across the globe and gave his legal opinion.
After seeing the most famous slap in Hollywood occur from one Black man to another, what did you say to yourself?
To me, it was jaw dropping. I was shocked. I was disheartened and at the same time, there was a certain level of understanding that I had for Will Smith. So, my heart went out to both sides for what they were going through. I hoped that they were hugging it out. It really hurt our purpose. These are elite men in our society who regressed back to another place in time in their own lives. They were supposed to have ascended beyond all of it, yet there they were on that day.
Share your initial thoughts.
My first thoughts when I saw it was this is a comedian, he’s telling jokes, he’s ripping almost any and everybody to keep the crowd going and to keep them involved in the show as he’s getting geared up to begin the presentation. In other words, you need someone to keep the party going. I’m sure everyone knew that Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes, and all these other folks were hosting and they would be telling jokes. When you’re on the set with a comedian, anyone can become part of the material to make people laugh.
So, there they were, Will Smith and his wife, in one of the biggest moments of their entire career, perhaps even their lives, on this global grand stage, where the world is watching, and then this thing happens. It was truly unfortunate. Because all those actors and entertainers, performers, worked hard just to be able to be in that room amongst one another to celebrate this great traditional award show. They were eclipsed by the slap that was heard around the world.
Now that we’re past the infamous event, how do you currently feel?
I am disappointed for our culture. I was disappointed because Chris Rock was placed in a situation where he looked emasculated. I saw Will Smith display a lack of control that was unattractive and unusual, coming from a person that we’ve all known him to be. He was a person who was peaceful, who wanted nothing more than a world to love and be loved. It was just the perfect storm of certain cascading events that really overshadow all the good things that were taking place on that evening.