Will Smith Unpacks Slap in First Sit-Down After Oscars – Rolling Stone


After shocking audience by punching comedian Chris Rock during a live broadcast of the Academy Awards, Will Smith returned to late-night television Monday and sat down with Trevor Noah on The daily show.

The interview comes eight months after the controversy over the Oscars and a series of online statements about the incident. When Noah asked Smith about his experience after the infamous moment, Smith said it was a “horrific night.”

“There are many nuances and complexities. But at the end of the day I’m just – I lost it, you know? continued the actor. “I went through something that night, you know? Not that that fully justifies my behavior. It was many things. It was the little boy who saw his father beat up his mother, you know? That all bubbled up at that moment. That’s not who I want to be.”

Smith, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard just minutes after the incident, he also told the host, “I think the most painful thing for me is that I tried my best and gave other people a hard time.” Speaking about what he learned in the following months, he also said, “I got the idea when they say people hurt people.”

Noah, who leaves the show at the end of next week, gave his own take on the controversy.

“I love Chris. I am friends with him. I love you, but this sucks. I know when black people, black people get together and say, ‘What was Will doing? What the hell happened?’ said Noah. “A lot of black people said, ‘He should go to jail.’ For example, you need to relax yourself.

Smith also shared a personal anecdote after that evening.

‘My cousin is nine. He is the sweetest little boy. We came home. He had stayed up late to see his Uncle Will,” Smith recalled. “We’re in my kitchen and he’s on my lap and he’s holding the Oscar and he just says, ‘Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?’ Hell. Why are you trying to Oprah me?”


The two also discussed Smith’s upcoming film, “Emancipation,” a movie inspired by the story behind the 1893 “Whipped Peter” photos, including the infamous “Flogged Back” photo, which showed the back of a former slave named Gordon covered in scars from whipping. In an earlier video interview with Fox 5Smith said he would “completely understand” if people aren’t ready to see Emancipationbut hopes that “the power of the movie” will overcome the headlines that have followed him all year.

Noah ended the interview by saying the controversy “shouldn’t define” Smith’s legacy. “I don’t think any of us in life deserve to be defined by our one flaw,” Noah told the actor.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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