Good news, Slappistas — Slapdates never sleep. Earlier this year, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on the Oscar stage after the latter made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s appearance. This was a straightforward albeit psychotic thing to witness on live television, but perhaps, some three and a half months later, something about it is unclear. Maybe you’re too much of an empath to understand why someone would hit someone else after hearing a joke.
Well, for the first time since the event, Will Smith is here to answer your questions. In a video in which he sits down with no one, Smith answers “your” questions (was there a submission window?) about the incident at the Oscars. As in, he reads a series of carefully worded questions presumably written by his own team as though he is scrolling through audience-submitted feedback forms. Like in his acceptance speech, Smith is teary-eyed and only borderline coherent. I believe he is genuinely remorseful and also nuts.
The video, titled “It’s been a minute…” (ellipses his own), is a little over five minutes in length. Smith is wearing what my coworker Olivia called “a golf outfit” and is sitting in what appears to be the lobby of a wellness startup circa 2015.
Smith’s continued apology (he extends his sympathies not only to Rock, again, but also to Rock’s mother, as well as his own wife and kids) includes myriad beautiful sentences like “I can still see Questlove’s eyes” (the incident occured right before Rock presented Questlove with an Oscar) and “disappointing people is my central trauma.” Omg same.
Ultimately, Smith reaches the conclusion that no part of him believes this was “an optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect.” Why this is framed as an answer to a question is a continued mystery. But I don’t know the ins and outs of remorse and regret the way Smith does, and I wish him all the best on his continued journey to generate content out of a moment of distress and violence.