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FutureStarrMarlon Wayans Says His Brothers Didn't Initially Support Him
The Wayans Brothers are a talented family of comedy actors and filmmakers renowned for decades on TV and film. Their iconic sketch comedy characters and hilarious parody films have become classic staples of both television and movies alike.
Recently Marlon Wayans shared that his family wasn't always supportive of his dreams. He spoke about this topic on Kevin Hart's Comedy Gold Minds podcast.
Last year, Will Smith accidentally hit comedian Chris Rock on stage during the Oscars with what has become known as "the slap." This moment is now one of the most talked-about moments in Academy Award history and it has sparked many conversations on social media platforms alike.
On stage, Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's close-cropped hair that is caused by her autoimmune disorder alopecia. Smith's reaction onstage, including slapping him across the face and demanding that he leave Smith's name out of his comedy routine, sparked an intense backlash from other celebrities who felt it was too insensitive.
Some people believe Smith was simply protecting his wife, while others think he was acting out of frustration and ego. No matter the cause, slapping another person is a serious offense for which Smith has since apologized.
Days after the incident, Smith was interviewed on ABC's "The Daily Show" and asked if he regretted hitting Rock. He acknowledged his mistake and promised to do things differently next time; however, he avoided resorting to violence.
At the 2022 Oscars, Will Smith delivered a controversial punch to Chris Rock onstage that quickly gained notoriety as one of cinema's most infamous moments. Millions watched live across TV and online as millions compared it to Muhammad Ali's iconic Oscar-winning gesture.
Rock was initially "shocked" by the incident, but quickly recovered with a joke. He took a moment to thank his team for their support, noting that his new film, Emancipation, will be released this weekend.
After being struck, Rock said he felt like he had entered a "horror movie." He informed lead Oscar producer Will Packer of his experience and how it served as an "inspiration" for his new project.
The slap was an unsettling moment that has resonated across generations of Americans, and its reaction remains strong today - be it on Twitter, in comments sections, or at the box office. For over a year now, people have been talking about it and still react to this event.
On March 7, when Marlon Wayans appeared on The Breakfast Club to discuss his recent HBO special, God Loves Me, the 50-year-old comedian revealed that his family wasn't always supportive when he first began pursuing comedy. In fact, his older brothers Keenen Ivory Wayans and Damon Wayans weren't even aware of his ambition until he started performing stand-up comedy professionally.
The Wayans brothers are renowned for their comedic performances and also have a large family consisting of five sisters and eight brothers. Raised in New York City by their parents Howell and Elvira Wayans, the siblings weren't necessarily close as kids; one brother remembers feeling "terrified" around older ones when he was just a toddler.
Over the years, his family has become closer and closer, but they never completely disowned him for his decision to pursue comedy. His brothers have always supported and helped him through hardships - which is why he made a special appearance on The Daily Show to discuss his recent Netflix special.
In an interview, Wayans shared that as a kid he didn't feel supported by his family; therefore, he wanted to ensure he was doing things which made him contented. Luckily, he eventually found success in comedy and has since achieved notoriety as both an actor and comedian.
On Saturday, Rock took to his stage in Baltimore for a live standup special on Netflix called Selective Outrage and lashed out against Smith for his slap during last year's Oscar ceremony. He was particularly upset that Pinkett-Smith, the wife who shaved her head due to alopecia areata, joined in on the attack, saying it hurt Smith "way more than she hurt me."
The comedian made several jokes about the incident that were meant to be humorous, but some viewers may find them off-putting or offensive. For instance, he joked that if Will Smith's wife ever did anything against him again, his sisters would staple her head and pull out her hair in order to prevent her from doing it again. While this seemed hollow at first glance, it did provide viewers with another angle on what had occurred and demonstrated Rock wasn't seeking justice but rather revenge for his reputation.
Marlon Wayans recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his family background and journey as a comedian. At 50 years old, the 50-year-old revealed that his brothers Keenan Ivory Wayans and Damon Wayans didn't initially share his ambition of becoming an entertainer; furthermore, Marlon revealed his parents didn't initially support his interest in acting either, meaning it took considerable effort for them to understand what being an actor meant.
He went on to explain that he hoped his family would eventually embrace his passion for comedy, though they were initially slow to accept it. Despite being under pressure to censor himself, he hasn't altered his style or tone in order to stay true to himself. Furthermore, he's standing firm against the "cancel culture" which has recently gripped Hollywood.
His most recent special, God Loves Me, premiered on HBO earlier this year and became an instant hit. In it, Wayans addressed the infamous Oscars slap and his decision to stop doing stand-up due to Chris Rock's heckling of him when he was 19 years old. Additionally, he shared some advice he gave Smith after the incident.
Last year's Oscar slap was one of the most controversial moments, yet it hasn't stopped people from discussing it. Two prominent comedians have recently released comedy specials about this subject, suggesting we may only just be beginning to understand its full scope.
One of the more remarkable moments in Wayans' special is his opening statement. He admits to not being a Christian, but the incident has caused him to consider becoming one. Additionally, he believes it's essential for people to have faith when going through difficult times.
Although he acknowledges that he hasn't always been as open with his family as he should have been, he still desires them to know that he has a strong moral code. He hopes his brothers will take the opportunity to discuss their emotions with him and help him be an even better father for his kids.
At first, Wayans and his brothers didn't have the support from their parents that they would eventually enjoy. Nonetheless, they managed to find a path that worked for them and eventually launched The Wayans Bros into a successful comedy series.
In the early seasons of the show, the brothers struggled with issues related to their mother. They believed her marriage had ended and that she was cheating on them. But as time passed, the bros grew closer and even began kissing each other.
But they also had their fair share of disagreements. Not always on the same wavelength, the pair would often engage in heated exchanges onstage.
Marlon Wayans, the youngest brother, recalls that his older brothers weren't always supportive. He acknowledges that there were moments where they were mean to him but was ultimately able to move forward in life despite these obstacles.
At that age, he remembered feeling scared. He worried whether he could make it in the comedy world and yet wanted so badly for it to be successful.
He didn't want to fail and lead a lonely, depressing life. Instead, his goal was to find joy and spread it around to others.
That is why he chose to pursue stand-up comedy. He felt it could be an avenue for others in similar predicaments as himself.
He was concerned that the entertainment industry wasn't as accepting of Black people as it could be. Knowing that Black comedians didn't have access to the same opportunities as white ones made him feel bad about himself.
He eventually accepted himself for who he was, and discovered that being different can be rewarding. Being a comedian may not always be easy, but he also found joy in it.
The slap was brief, lasting less than a minute during the 94th Academy Awards in February. It caused much controversy and Smith has since been barred from attending future ceremonies for 10 years.