WILL SMITH STILL NEEDS TO EXPLAIN CHRIS ROCK SLAP TO BLACK COMMUNITY, STEPHEN A. SMITH SAYS

WILL SMITH STILL NEEDS TO EXPLAIN CHRIS ROCK SLAP TO BLACK COMMUNITY, STEPHEN A. SMITH SAYS

Will Smith still owes the Black community an explanation for the infamous Chris Rock slap at the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony, according to Stephen A. Smith.

On Sunday (June 9), the famed sports commentator shared his thoughts on the incident via his YouTube channel amid news of Bad Boys: Ride or Die attaining blockbuster status at the box office over the weekend.

While he has supported the Philadelphia native since the ordeal two years back, he wants to see him "sit down and talk to the Black community" about the moment as he feels Rock "will never get over that, ever" and is "damaged" because of it.

"We know you wouldn't have smacked Ricky Gervais, Bill Maher, Bill Burr or a host of others," Smith said. "We know you wouldn't have done that. No apology is necessary. I'm just saying a lot of folks ain't get over that. A lot of folks find it hard to just go to the movies to watch you. I'm one of those people."

Upon the internet discussing his comments, Stephen doubled down on what he said in a post shared on X (formerly Twitter).

"Yep. I said it," he wrote. "But I have some additional thoughts - thinking about all that Will & Martin [Lawrence] have done for us all - especially after talking to my man Charlie Mack. I've got more to say on "The Stephen A. Smith Show/Podcast" tomorrow."

Yep. I said it. But I have some additional thoughts - thinking about all that Will & Martin have done for us all - especially after talking to my man Charlie Mack. I've got more to say on "The Stephen A. Smith Show/Podcast" tomorrow. https://t.co/lLVeOCuYYv

- Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 10, 2024

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die is Will Smith's first movie since the infamous Oscar slap.

According to Variety, the fourth installment of the Bad Boys franchise raked in $56 million in theaters across the United States and an additional $48.6 million across the world for an international grand total of $104.6 million.

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The film now also holds the distinction of having the second-highest opening weekend of any film in Smith and Lawrence's buddy cop franchise, following 2020's Bad Boys for Life.

The outlet made note of the fact that this was Smith's first acting role since the incident between him and Chris Rock in March 2022, indicating that industry experts thought the moment may have cost him a few fans, just as it had other opportunities.

However, the rapper-turned-actor nabbed his very first Oscar in the Best Actor in a Leading Role category for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard on the night in question.

According to the New York Post, the Academy has a strict policy that prohibits any kind of violence, which could have led to the statuette and honor being stripped from him.

"It's basically assault," an insider said. "Everyone was just so shocked in the room, it was so uncomfortable. I think Will would not want to give his Oscar back, but who knows what will happen now."

Before the Academy could decide on disciplinary action, however, Smith preemptively resigned from the organization and was allowed to retain his Oscar and even be considered for awards in the future, Variety reported at the time.


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