Does Will Smith Owe Black America An Explanation For Slapping Chris Rock?


Source: Allen Berezovsky / Getty


Stephen A. Smith firmly believes that Will Smith owes the Black community an apology for the unforgettable Oscars slap incident involving Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards in March 2022. The drama transpired following a joke made by Rock about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s, bald head.

On the June 9 episode of The Stephen A. Smith Show, the esteemed sports commentator subtly suggested that the underwhelming box office performance of Will and Martin Lawrence’s film, Bad Boys: Ride or Die, may have been influenced, in part, by Will’s failure to adequately explain his actions at the prestigious awards ceremony. 

Can Will Smith slap Stephen A next?

— Comedian Barry S. Naylor (@barry_s_naylor) June 10, 2024

Stephen A. Smith: Will Smith Needs To Give A Explanation To The Black Community!

The Whole Black Community:

— Drizzy Drizzyy (@DrizzyyDrizz) June 10, 2024

Who TF is Stephen A Smith to be telling THEE Will Smith what TF he needs to do?

— MelaninDrip73 (@NoneSimply) June 10, 2024


Stephen’s remark sparked confusion among Black social media users, who were unsure of the journalist’s stance, especially considering that Will and Martin’s film raked in $104,600,000 in global box office sales upon its June 7 release, according to Box Office Mojo. Nevertheless, Stephen expressed skepticism, stating that he wouldn’t be surprised if box office figures “ultimately plummeted” due to Will’s lackluster apology.

Later on in his segment, the ESPN analyst urged Will to conduct “an actual sit-down interview” where he could explain his infamous slap struck upon Rock in detail and apologize to the Black community. Ultimately, Stephen revealed that he would “never stop being a Will Smith fan” after the incident and would “in all likelihood” go see Bad Boys: Ride or Die. However, he felt it would be imperative for the actor to make amends with Black fans if he wanted the film to do better.

“I’m just saying a lot of folks ain’t get over what happened,” Stephen said, alleging that there were multiple fans who shared a similar stance. “Lots of folks find it hard to just go to the movies to watch you. I’m one of those people and I never missed a Will Smith movie.”


Fans react to Stephen A. Smith’s comment on YouTube.

Thoughts on Stephen’s bizarre segment flooded the comments section on YouTube, with droves of Black social media users slamming him for his thoughts. Many stated that they were still fans of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum despite the slap.

We don’t need a sit-down from Will Smith. You can’t speak for us, speak for yourself,” wrote one user.

Another penned, “Real fans never stopped. Not gonna judge someone over 1 incident after over 30 years of no issues.”

A third commented, “We never left Will Smith. Will always support him.”

In March 2022, Smith issued a formal apology to Rock on Instagram, calling his actions “unacceptable and inexcusable.” He followed up with a six-minute long video, taking accountability for his poor behavior in July of that year.

While acknowledging the inappropriateness of Will Smith’s actions, it’s crucial to approach the situation with grace. He promptly apologized and took full responsibility for his behavior, reportedly even attempting to make amends with Rock in private.

Continuously scrutinizing him isn’t productive. If Stephen seeks closure, a private conversation with Will suffices; there’s no need to prolong public discourse on the matter. Let’s shift our focus away from the incident. We’ve had our fill of discussions surrounding the altercation.


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The post Does Will Smith Owe Black America An Explanation For Slapping Chris Rock? appeared first on NewsOne.

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