Will Smith is trending on social media ahead of his new action and thriller Apple TV+ film “Emancipation.” The actor appeared in his first late night show interview on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” since the notorious Oscars slap. Smith says he understands moviegoers who refuse to watch his upcoming film. While other loyal Smith fans question if that’s a reasonable consequence considering the countless White entertainers who have publicly displayed worse actions.
Smith is gearing up for his latest film “Emancipation” to reach Apple TV+ on Dec. 9. As the Oscar award winning actor promotes the film, he is forced to address the unfortunate moment at the 2022 Oscars that will follow him forever. On “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” Smith explores his emotions after slapping Chris Rock on the Oscars stage that night.
“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine,”Smith unpacks on the show. “There’s many nuances and complexities to it. But at the end of the day, I just — I lost it, you know? I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all… It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know? All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That is not who I want to be.”
Smith continues to say that he was out of it, noting, “I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”
He also reveals why he decided to take on his film “Emancipation.” The Apple TV+ film starring Smith is based on true events, following a runaway slave who becomes known to the world as “Whipped Peter” after widely distributed photographs of keloid scarring on his back expose the extreme brutality of slavery.
“First seeing that image was one of the things that really got me excited to explore this, because you see the image, but you don’t know who he is,” Smith shares with Noah. “American slavery was one of the most brutal aspects of human history… It is hard to understand the level of human cruelty. My daughter asked me, ‘Daddy, do we really need another slave movie?’ I said, ‘Daby, I promise you, I wouldn’t make a slave movie. This is a freedom movie.’”
In an interview with Vanity Fair, director Antoine Fuqua addressed the decision to release “Emancipation” eight months after Smith’s Oscars controversy, saying “the film to me is bigger than that moment.”
Smith facing serious career consequences post-Oscars slap bears controversial discourse online. Should he, one of the biggest Black stars in Hollywood, continue to book roles?
One fan argues that his actions are nothing compared to the man y White and violent abusers, who don’t receive the same treatment.
“I just… can’t consider the slap in a vacuum, Sean Penn and all these other white and violent abusers who never faced any career consequences, it’s insane we’re having this conversation about Will Smith.”
Other fans agree that the consequences feel extreme.
Can the world forgive Will Smith for his moment of rage?
Despite his apologies and taking full accountability, the public scrutiny continues.
Comment your thoughts on the matter below. Watch the full interview on “The Daily Show” below: