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Pressley on Oscars slap: ‘I don’t endorse violence in any form’

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) addresses reporters during a press conference on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 about a resolution condemning Rep. Lauren Boebert's (R-Colo.) use of Islamaphobic rhetoric and removing her from her current committee assignments.
Greg Nash

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) tweeted on Monday that she does not “endorse violence in any form” after apparently deleting a tweet on Sunday praising actor Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. 

“My life’s work has always been about trauma & healing. I’m a survivor – I don’t endorse violence in any form,” Pressley’s Monday tweet 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. Team Jada always. That’s that on that.”

Pressley’s remarks come after she tweeted on Sunday praising Smith’s actions.

“#Alopecia nation stand up! Thank you #WillSmith,” Pressley’s since-deleted tweet said. “Shout out to all the husbands who defend their wives living with alopecia in the face of daily ignorance & insults.” 

Rock had joked: “Jada, I love ya. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” an apparent reference to her bald head, before Smith joined him on stage, struck him and yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—— mouth!” when he returned to his seat. 

In 2018, Pinkett Smith revealed she had alopecia areata, a disease that causes hair loss. Pressley has also discussed her own struggles with the disease.

“In the fall, when I was getting my hair retwisted, is the first time that I was made aware that I had some patches,” the Massachusetts representative said in 2020 when she revealed her condition.

“It’s about self agency. It’s about power. It’s about acceptance. It’s so interesting to me that right now on this journey, what I feel the most unlike myself is when I am wearing a wig. So I think that means I’m on my way,” she added at the time.

Tags Academy Awards alopecia alopecia areata Ayanna Pressley Chris Rock Jada Pinkett Smith Oscars oscars slap Oscars smack Will Smith
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