Ayanna Pressley Tweets Support for Will Smith, Then Deletes : Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., speaks at the March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 2020. ( Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Getty Images)
By Luca Cacciatore | Monday, 28 March 2022 09:49 PM
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., deleted a tweet in support of Will Smith attacking Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday minutes after posting it, Politico reported.
The attack by Smith came after Rock, who was hosting the Oscar award ceremony, made a joke regarding the hair loss of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Pressley, who has suffered from hair loss herself, quickly supported Smith’s violent response to the joke. She used the medical term for hair loss, “alopecia,” in her tweet.
"#Alopecia nation stand up!" the congresswoman wrote. "Thank you #WillSmith Shout out to all the husbands who defend their wives living with alopecia in the face of daily ignorance & insults."
"Women with baldies are for the real men only only," Pressley continued, misspelling “baldness.”
After deleting her initial reaction, the Massachusetts congresswoman released a new Twitter thread condemning the strike – saying she does not “endorse violence in any form.”
“Let’s talk about what it’s like to live with #alopecia. The deeply vulnerable & difficult moments that our families see,” Pressley said.
“Our bodies are not public domain. They are not a line in a joke—especially when the transformation is not of our choosing,” she added. “I’m a survivor of violence. I'm a proud Alopecian. The psychological toll we carry daily is real.”
Smith has since apologized for attacking Rock, posting to Instagram that his “behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.”
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris [Rock]. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” Smith said.