Just over a week ago the life of Will Smith he was transformed, turned upside down like he never thought, with two events in one night that represented the highs and lows of his career as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. We talked about the slap that she gave the comedian chris rock in the middle of the ceremony Oscar 2022 on March 27, an event that preceded his victory in the Best Actor category for his role in “King Richard.”
SIGHT: Chris Rock on Will Smith Slap at the Oscars: ‘I’m Still Processing What Happened’
“Changed from top to bottom”
As will be recalled, the attack occurred during the presentation of the award for Best Documentary, when Chris Rock made a comment about the shaved head of Jada Pinkett Smith – who suffers from alopecia – in relation to the movie “GI Jane”. The joke unleashed the wrath of Will Smith, who took the stage to slap him in the middle of the live broadcast.
Qualified as the slap that went around the world, Smith’s aggression against his colleague became one of the most commented topics by the international media, competing with more relevant topics such as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia or the growing calls by climate scientists for more action to stop global warming. And, similar to these two major tragedies, the repercussions of the actor’s actions are not yet fully understood and its consequences will be seen in the coming years.
Although it is difficult to determine how much Will Smith’s reputation has been damaged after the attack on Chris Rock, we already have indicators that it has gone downhill.
So far we have seen the most immediate actions by Will Smith himself, who on April 1 announced that he was resigning his membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – the organizing entity of the Oscar – in the midst of the investigation that this entity was making him.
“I’m heartbroken”, Said the actor on that occasion through a statement, in which he also publicly apologized for the first time with Chris Rock. “I want to refocus on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to return to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.”
“Change takes time, and I am committed to working to ensure that I never again let violence trump reason.”, he added.
The attitude of repentance, very contrary to his justifications on the same day of the Oscar, could serve the actor to mitigate his sentence, but other consequences are already coming against him, with the SAG-AFTRA actors’ guild – of which Will Smith is still a member- in possibilities of imposing sanctions for their violent acts. And although the organization has not announced whether there will be an investigation into the matter, it has previously described the movie star’s actions as “unacceptable”.
On the monetary side, the slap has also affected the actor’s finances and prospects for more movies, with sony putting cold cloths to the project to release a fourth installment of the “Bad Boys” saga. Netflix followed suit, pausing production on the film “Fast and Loose” that was to star Will Smith, a death blow for a project that had already lost its director David Leitch.
Less clear is whether the artist’s loss of reputation could also affect production company Westbrook Stuidos, a production house founded by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett that has been behind movies like “King Richard,” as well as shows like “Cobra Kai” and the remake of the prince of rap “Bel-Air”, among others.
“Will, what resignation”
Although it is difficult to determine how much Will Smith’s reputation has been damaged after the attack on Chris Rock, we already have indicators that it has gone downhill. On April 1, the company New Morning Consult published a study that shows that after the incident the percentage of Americans who had a positive outlook on the actor fell to 50%, a decline of 30 percentage points from when the same question was asked in 2020.
The survey, which was conducted between March 30 and 31 among a sample of 2,200 adults in the US and has a 2 percentage point margin of error, also noted that the incident is as well known by public opinion as the invasion of Ukraine, with 88% recognition in both by those interviewed.
Chris Rock, on the other hand, now has a 60% favorable opinionalthough two-thirds of those surveyed felt his joke about Jada Pinkett Smith at the Oscars was inappropriate. Another benefit the comedian saw was a sharp increase in ticket sales for his “Ego Death” tour, which kicked off on April 30. In his case, one could say that he has become the prince of all Bel-Air.