The comedian’s ‘GI Jane’ joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett Smith and the ensuing violent reaction from her actor husband Will Smith have made global headlines all week.
Darren Stuart, owner of Tribeca Hair Design in East Boldon, works with many clients who suffer with alopecia said the issue is a sensitive one, and should not be the subject of jokes.
“Anyone who lives with a condition that affects their appearance lives with a near-constant reminder of what they’re going through,” he said.
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"Unfortunately, this may also come with unwanted and unacceptable remarks or jokes. In an age where appearance is so closely linked to someone’s personal identity, these words can cause a lot of harm to people who may already be feeling very vulnerable.”
Tribeca provides a range of hairdressing services one of which includes wigs made from human and synthetic hair.
Darren said the wigs have become popular with clients who suffer alopecia and as result have lost their confidence and self-esteem, helping them regain their confidence and make them feel beautiful again.
The salon owner is also a trustee and one of the lead educators for mynewhair, which supports people with medical-related hair loss through its network of trained hair professionals - the Salons that Care - who are trained by Darren, along with charity founder Trevor Sorbie MBE.
He said: “At mynewhair, we work with many people who have alopecia and medical-related hair loss. We understand the difficult emotions and situations they and their loved ones may face, and mynewhair is here to support anyone affected by hair loss.”
Oscars organisers the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences have confirmed disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against Will Smith after the incident.
The actor, who won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard, has apologised for his behaviour.
Meanwhile, Chris Rock made his first public appearance after the incident on Wednesday, at the Boston leg of his US tour.
He said he was ‘still processing what happened’ and would talk about it at length in the future.