Which can lead to a moment of uncontrolled anger… Because who was going to tell Will Smith that his life was going to take a radical turn in a matter of seconds after decades consecrated at the top of Hollywood. And it is that time passes and his infamous open-handed slap on the cheek of chris rock in the last ceremony of the Oscar keep bringing tail. Yet. The actor has already publicly apologized twice (many seem to have forgotten that he apologized on Instagram a day after the ceremony), was expelled from the Academy and faces a difficult professional reconstruction that no star would want to experience in his place. Consequences of life that he, in the end, will have to bear like any ordinary human.
But the slap continues to generate conversation with industry figures who continue to pour their opinion. Even backing down after his first reactions. A fact that, in my opinion, begins to make it clear to me that perhaps there is an interest in ‘hanging on’ to the matter. Because, if not, I don’t understand how some characters seem to mold themselves to the current as it suits them.
Vivica Fox it’s an example. The actress who played the wife of Will Smith in Independence Day criticized Jada Pinkett Smith last June for not showing “responsibility” as a partner of Smith, something that “makes a good couple.” “Let’s not forget that Chris Rock was mugged for basically making a joke that I didn’t think was that bad.” sentenced in the wendy show pointing out the attitude of his ex-partner while crying when he saw Jada’s reaction on his talk-show, red Table Talk, where he talked about the stage of healing for his family. Fox worked with both of them on different movies, he called them “his colleagues”, but he made his vision clear, especially around the wife. “I wish we could have had a little more responsibility and it didn’t seem so self-righteous of Jada.”
Now, weeks after Will Smith published the video with the mea culpa, restarted his activity on social networks and changed the conversation to one that talks about learning and second chances, the actress has returned to talk about the matter for the magazine People, backing up and talking about love. “I love Will Smith. He is one of my favorite people on the planet. We all make mistakes. If there is a person who deserves a second chance, it is him. I think he has taken full responsibility for his actions and apologized. I just hope we can get over the incident and learn that it must not happen again.” All very nice and correct, conciliatory and friendly but… less than three months ago he asked us not to forget that Chris Rock had been mugged.
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But it is not the only case that took a turn in the face of controversy. After the Academy found itself between a rock and a hard place between the reaction of Smith, the industry and the world, and finally decided to expel him – although he went ahead and resigned – and ban him from the galas for 10 years, one of the producers of the same ceremony has turned the tables. After the viral apology, Will Packer told entertainment tonight in August that he supports Will Smith, who loves to see him be “transparent” when talking about his process [de sanación y perdón]. “He is being very public, honest and open about his regret.” he sentenced, directly supporting him in his healing process. And while we can understand his empathic reaction after the actor’s honest apology in the famous video, he is still striking because of the curious position he represents. Because we are talking about a representative of the same ceremony that ended up being stained forever, and placed the Academy in the line of fire and vetoed it for a decade.
Another example is the comedian Trevor Noah. Many comedians jumped on the news wave via Twitter the same night of the ceremony or adding fuel to the fire by using it as part of their jokes. Noah joked in April that the banning of the Oscars was a blessing in disguise for Will Smith because they are boring awards, while a month later he told the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that “It’s risky to make jokes these days. I’ve been a little worried about tonight. What if I make an evil Kellyanne Conway prank and then her husband gets up and thanks me?” (Conway is a political consultant who previously worked with Donald Trump during his presidency, and her husband is an anti-Trump political activist.) However, after taking advantage of the controversy for the benefit of her sketches – I repeat, as many other comedians lawfully did – she now launches a social and critical message about acceptance and reflection. “I was shocked to see how many people immediately said ‘Will Smith is a rubbish human being and the worst person, he should be in prison. […] instead of saying, this person we loved for so long, who was never wrong. Something bad happened. What was the mistake? Should we get into the humanity of all this? Should we ask? Should we care? No, that’s not the world we live in anymore.” (news week)
In this way, Trevor Noah sent a message of empathy towards Will Smith, criticizing the negativity of the networks, pointing out how people now “cannot exist in a gray space.” saying that “You can’t be a good person who did something wrong and you can’t be a bad person who did something right.” But that does not mean that he used the matter for the benefit of his comedy, and that could lead us to analyze whether joking about the slap could fuel the critical conversation against Will Smith or not. The one that now points.
It is completely legal to change your mind and have a different reaction after Will Smith’s apology. As is also pouring opinions on social networks, making jokes and whatever it takes, but with a certain coherence after all. And for this reason, this summary leads me to ask how much real opinion there is versus the weight of interest in hanging on to the news. When Will Smith got up that night from his chair, he created a controversy that left us speechless and from which it was impossible not to have some kind of reaction. Whatever it was and all with the right to exist. But that different characters take back or turn their message right now, after Will Smith’s heartfelt apology that has returned him to the networks after four months of absence (he has published several entries since the apology and with the occasional joke about his reappearance on the road), It leads me to ask if perhaps it is about turning the conversation around because he precisely -one of the actors who had the most power in the industry- did so by acknowledging the mistake, the weight of forgiveness, humility and the difficult healing process on the table. Therefore, how many of the reactions that we have seen in recent months have been genuinely necessary and how many are a way to hang on to the news because it is the theme of the year?
All this leads me to reflect on the trend -especially in Hollywood in this case- of joining the fashion of commenting on an important or viral issue. But when things change or go wrong, they could find themselves in the position of having to adjust to go with the flow and not end up on the wrong side of the controversy. It is not going to be that Will Smith, who was a Hollywood superstar, is reborn from his ashes…
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