Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., posted and then deleted tweets Sunday night that appeared to support actor Will Smith for slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars over a joke made about Smith's wife.
During the event Sunday, Rock made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who shaved her head after suffering from alopecia, saying, "Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it, all right?"
The comments prompted Will Smith to walk on stage and slap Rock before returning to his seat and yelling "Keep my wife's name out your f------ mouth."
Tweets by Pressley seemed to support the actor's actions.
"#Alopecia nation stand up! Thank you #WillSmith,” tweeted Pressley. “Shout out to all the husbands who defend their wives living with alopecia in the face of daily ignorance & insults.”
Pressley added, “Women with baldies are for real men only…boys need not apply."
Those tweets were deleted, but not before screenshots were published by several news outlets.
In several follow-up tweets that have not been deleted, Pressley seemed to walk that support back, saying that she did not support violence in any form.
"My life's work has always been about trauma & healing. I’m a survivor - I don’t endorse violence in any form," the congresswoman wrote.
"Our bodies are not public domain. They are not a line in a joke—especially when the transformation is not of our choosing. 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," she continued.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack hair follicles, resulting in hair loss, according to the National Institutes of Health. The former Boston city councilor first publicly revealed her diagnosis in January 2020 in an interview with The Root.