Will Smith’s slap hurts his family brand

At this year’s Academy Awards, before Mr. Rock took the stage, Regina Hall suggested that some of Hollywood’s most deserving bachelors be personally inspected, citing Smith’s relationship in Hollywood and joking about their Kovid test results. Lost. “Will Smith,” she said. “You are married, but you know, you’ve on the list and it looks like Jada has approved of you. So you go here. “He sat smiling.

Deliberately crossing the room to hit Mr. Rock brought Mr. Smith to his feet, Ms. An ad-libed line about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Ms. Pinkett Smith had alopecia, which was caused by hair falling out, Mr. Mr Smith later explained. “A joke about Jada’s medical condition is unbearable, and I reacted emotionally,” Mr Smith explained in an apology to Mr Rock and others who posted on Instagram on Monday evening. For his part, Mr Rock said on his comedy show on Wednesday that he was processing the event. (Mr. Smith’s spokesman declined to comment. Representatives of Mrs. Pinkett Smith and Mr. Rock’s did not respond to requests for comment.)

For many viewers and fans, especially black fans, the incident involving the three highest-ranking black artists in Hollywood was tragic and not easily judged. “It’s a really complicated moment, because it’s gender and race and all the ways that resonate with power and brand,” said Miriam Petty, a film historian and professor at Northwestern University who studies black stardom.

Some commentators have criticized Mr Rock for being “less of a joke.” In the comedy “Girls Trip” Ms. Others, such as actress Tiffany Hadish, who co-starred with Pinkett Smith. Smith was praised for appearing to be protecting his wife’s honor, Dr. Petty is described as understandable in the black world. Women and other colored women are not afforded the same social protection as their whites. But is that attitude anti-feminist? Did it glorify violence? “Again – messy, messy, messy,” Dr. Petty said.

Since turning 50, Mr. Smith has relaxed his public image somewhat. The most recent YouTube series, “Best Shape of My Life”, targeted his non-superhero father Bad, which is really dissociating from his own behavior. He traveled without safety for the first time in years; Eventually learned to swim; And after his father died in 2016, he tried to minimize the damage to that relationship.

In a statement announcing his resignation from the academy, Mr. Smith said, “I am committed to making sure that change takes time and that I never allow violence to overcome the cause.”

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