Rock had made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss condition, known as alopecia, which prompted Smith to storm the stage and slap Rock in a move that may have ultimately ruined his career, despite the fact that he took home his first-ever Best Actor Oscar that same night.
Although fans seem to have accepted his apology, one comedy insider is saying that it’s “too little, too late” for the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and his career.
One Industry Insider Says It’s ‘Too Little, Too Late’ For Will Smith & His Career
On Friday morning, the “Independence Day” actor posted a five-minute video apologizing to Chris Rock for the viral incident. However, a comedy insider told Page Six that the apology is “too little, too late.”
The insider alleged that Smith “didn’t do this from the goodness of his heart,” adding, “Will has realized he is not as popular as he used to be, that the furor of ‘the slap’ is not going away, and he really has done lasting damage to his career.”
“People just don’t forget that Will Smith assaulted someone on national television, then went out and partied like a rock star at the Vanity Fair party,” the source said.
‘But the message appears to be clear to everyone in comedy — Will still needs a lot more therapy’
In his apology video, Smith said that he was “fogged out,” which is why he did not apologize to Rock during his own acceptance speech. The “King Richard” Oscar winner said in his apology video that “I reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk, but when he is, he will reach out.”
He then apologized to Chris directly, saying, “I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.” The industry insider didn’t seem to believe the apology was sincere, saying, “This is all so manufactured.”
The insider went on to say that his apology video “looks like it was staged by a team of therapists and publicists.” They called the video “disingenuous,” noting, “even the set looks like a bad psychiatrist’s office.”
The source added, “But the message appears to be clear to everyone in comedy — Will still needs a lot more therapy.”
Insider Openly Questions Why Smith Is Apologizing Now
They also raised several questions about the timing of the video, as Chris Rock had recently opened up about the incident during a stand-up show in Madison Square Garden. During the performance, Rock said, “Yeah, that s–t hurt, motherf–ker, but I shook that s–t off and went to work the next day.” Rock also made it clear that he is “not a victim,” adding, “I don’t go to the hospital for a papercut.”
It’s unclear if Chris Rock knew that the video was going to be released beforehand, which is why he decided to discuss the incident last Saturday.
“Why is Will apologizing now? What happened that opened his eyes? Where has he been hiding?” the insider asked. “Or is it that Will read the coverage of Chris’ shows and finally felt he had to formally address it for his own career?”
Will Smith did nothing wrong in my eyes. The apology was cute. Back to Beyoncé pic.twitter.com/vxHbtu2Ybj
— Work of Art OUT NOW (@Drebae_) July 29, 2022
Other fans called out the timing of the apology, considering today of all days is the day that Beyoncé decided to release a new album, which has commanded most of the Internet’s attention. Some fans also felt that Smith was simply defending his wife, and had nothing to apologize for.
Will Smith has been and continues to be so vulnerable and transparent about his own work and healing journey. And it all seems incredibly genuine.
May his work be fruitful.
— Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) July 29, 2022
Despite what the comedy insider claimed, some fans did interpret Smith’s apology to be sincere. One fan tweeted, “Will Smith has been and continues to be so vulnerable and transparent about his own work and healing journey. And it all seems incredibly genuine. May his work be fruitful.”
Those interested can see the full five-minute apology video below.
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