Trevor Noah speaks out and denounces society’s reaction to Will Smith’s now infamous slap in the face at the Oscars.
In a recent interview with Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, the Daily show the host aired grievances about the general public being so quick to write off Smith after the controversial incident at the 94th Annual Academy Awards.
“I find it fascinating,” he explained. “If we look at this through the scales of justice, or even if you just think of it through the prism of humanity, how many rights are worth a wrong and what wrong erases all rights? When is a person now vile? »
I was shocked at how many people immediately said, “Will Smith is a trash human being and he’s the worst human, he should be in jail.” I was like, ‘Wow, wow. OK.’ It was really interesting for me. Instead of saying, that person we’ve loved for so long, who didn’t go wrong anywhere. Something went wrong here. Something really went wrong, what happened? Should we get into it? Should we delve into the humanity of this one? Should we ask, should we question? Should we care? No, no, this is no longer the world we live in.
People are instantly defined. And you cannot exist in gray space. You can’t be a good person who did a bad thing. And you can’t be a bad person doing a good thing. You are either a good person or a bad person. And that’s all. And then the company switches with you, depending on your last action. I try not to get too caught up in this.
What arguably makes this task easier said than done, however, is the presence of social media with its weak capacity for nuanced and multi-layered discourse. And that’s something that Noah attributes to our desire for mass engagement rather than mass understanding.
“I think one of the worst things social media has done to us is they rewarded the hot take,” he explained. “He rewarded the most extreme version of any opinion that exists. If you give a nuanced opinion, in a tweet, unfortunately the algorithm isn’t going to push that that far because it doesn’t engage as many people and the engagements are what social media is trying to achieve. The problem is that the best way to get the most engagement is to stir up tension. And while that’s great for the bottom line of a social media business, it’s is terrible for us as human beings.
He later added, “If I wanted to get everyone’s attention on the highway, the best way to do that is to cause a giant crash. Everyone will stop and everyone will watch, but it’s terrible for the highway. I like to think of us as a society, we’re on the highway, we’re all trying to get somewhere. On social media, this algorithm knows that if I can turn this into a giant disaster, a huge pile-up, then I’ll make everyone stop and step in. And I don’t think that’s the best thing for us as people.