Long Islander with alopecia condemns Rock's bullying, but says Smith had 'poor response'

Margaret Staib, with the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, runs a Long Island support group for people like her who suffer from the disease that affects around 2% of the population.

News 12 Staff

Mar 29, 2022, 2:33 AM

Updated 783 days ago

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The smack heard around the world at the Oscars is raising awareness about an auto-immune disease that causes hair loss.
Comedian Chris Rock made a joke referring to actress Jada Pinkett Smith's short hair, which was brought about by alopecia.
Pinkett Smith's husband, actor Will Smith, smacked Rock in response and cursed at him.
Margaret Staib, with the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, runs a Long Island support group for people like her who suffer from the disease that affects around 2% of the population.
She says Rock was wrong for making a joke about a medical condition that people are often bullied for.
"There's no reason for teasing and bullying because it hurts, it really hurts," Staib says. "The alopecia community has been devastated because recently a 12-year-old girl took her own life because of bullying."
Staib says she wishes Smith used his platform to talk about alopecia instead of going to violence.
She says he missed a great opportunity and it was a "poor response."
Smith later won the Oscar for best actor.
He wrote an apology to Rock on Instagram, saying in part, "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. 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."
The Los Angeles Police Department says it is not pressing charges because Rock declined to file a police report.
The Motion Picture Academy has condemned Smith's actions.
It has started a formal review and is exploring further action and consequences.


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