Jaden Smith = Arrogant Cocky Spoiled Child Actor? Hell No!

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The kid on the left is Will Smith's 11-year-old son Jaden.

Jaden, who recently hit it big with his starring role in The Karate Kid remake, could well be on his way to being a star. A good portion of the Internet universe however has already decided to demonize Jaden Smith. The non-issue (which it really is) became the subject of Owen Gleiberman's Entertainment Weekly column several days ago which explored this newfound haterade for Jaden which seemingly got worse after his appearance on the David Letterman show while promoting the film:

I actually laughed a few times. It's a rarity that I laugh during a talk show interview with a celebrity. Most of them are very scripted and controlled so that nothing out of the ordinary occurs. That was the brilliance and unique touch of Johnny Carson when he ran The Tonight Show, he was able to roll with the unexpected and make it seem completely natural. David Letterman was no match for Jaden's personality and appeared at times ready to smack him for not being a character on Leave It To Beaver.

This was the aspect of Jaden that impressed the columnist:

I caught up with the Letterman spot a few days after the fact, when the anti-Jaden anger was already at full boil, and so I watched it with particular attention and fascination. Here's what I saw: Smith, seated opposite Letterman, conducted himself very differently from most child actors. Usually, kids in show business know how to present themselves as cuddly pets. Smith was having none of that. He has a very quick mind, and his responses were fast and a little brusque -- from the start, he was toying with Letterman, putting him on the spot by giving him a lot less fake-nice, fake-sincere boilerplate chat-show banter than he wanted. (Gee, who in his right mind would want less of that?) It's something that I've occasionally seen adults do, and yes, it was a little startling to see a kid this young with a movie to hawk go onto the Letterman show and assume that mock-confrontational, who's-really-in-charge-here? stance. But it wouldn't have worked if it wasn't, in its way, a gripping little talk-show performance. (Letterman himself played at being taken back, but also was taken aback; it's always a good thing when Dave gets jolted out of his stuffy protective pose, his robo-irony.)

Bottom line, for me: Smith was cocky as hell on Letterman, but he was also interesting. For eight minutes, he displayed the confidence to be non-ingratiating and, in the process, he seized your attention. He was brash; he acted like a Hollywood kid who truly had a mind of his own. Perish the thought!

Yet in the online universe of Jaden Hatred, that Letterman appearance played as one thing and one thing only: privilege. And that, on the surface, is what the whole ragging-on-Jaden-Smith phenomenon is really all about -- the desire to tear down a child who enjoys the perks of celebrity royalty, even though he didn't earn them. And now he's getting a movie career handed to him! You can almost taste the class resentment, the jealousy of folks who only wish, deep down, that they'd gotten such an opportunity themselves and now want to scrawl their rage on Jaden Smith's image like Perez Hilton going crazy with his Magic Marker

Over the course of the last few days, I've seen a series of tweets that have attacked Chris Brown for his supposedly fake cry during his MJ tribute on the BET Awards and Apple fans for waiting in long lines for the latest IPhone. I don't care for Chris Brown or for the IPhone. I will not however take a person to task for wanting an IPhone or praising Chris Brown.

What's the point?

Jaden Smith will have his time in the sun and then fade like everyone in Hollywood eventually does. This logic also applies to Chris Brown and it also applies to the IPhone, which will eventually become as ancient as the first Apple Macintosh. In a world that's falling apart, Jaden Smith is hardly worth getting upset about.

if you knew someone who could get you a job, would you literally sit there with pride guiding you and say no?

As tough as things are?

Really, you would say no?

Come on now.

We all like to believe hard work and education are the key's the success, but having someone on the inside is always good and usually trumps the two formers any day of the week. Strangely enough, our last president was literally handed the job because of the fact his father was a former president. On the face of it through this world's outdated morality filter, Jaden Smith shouldn't have been as successful as he has become so easily.

This is not Utopia. This is the real world.

In these hard times, I wish like hell I could get a lift from someone powerful so that I can get a job and not feel embarrassed that I don't have enough money to enjoy myself. Money may not equal happiness or a long lasting life, but it means you will at least have the means to TRY and have a good time with the life you have.

Instead of asking whether Jaden Smith deserved his success, perhaps we should be asking if Deborah Aquila and Mary Tricia Wood were high when they gave The Twilight Kids there jobs.

And with that, I'll run now.

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