Stephen A. Smith Unhappy About Will Smith’s Resurgence, Says He Owes Black Community An Apology For ‘Slapping Them’

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The Stephen A. Smith Show/Sony Pictures

While the box office numbers for Bad Boys: Ride or Die suggest that movie-going audiences are ready to forgive Will Smtih, Stephen A. Smith is not.

During a recent episode of The Stephen A. Smith Show, the longtime First Take host and ESPN star lamented Will Smith’s return to the spotlight following his 2022 Oscars night slap of Chris Rock, saying that he’s not interested in seeing Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

SAS believes that Will Smith, who infamously slapped Chris Rock in the face after he made a joke about his wife (?) Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair during the 2022 Academy Awards, still owes people, particularly the Black community, an explanation.

“I’m not nearly as interested in seeing Will Smith in the movies than I am of seeing him doing an actual sit-down interview with somebody to explain why he did what he did, I don’t care if it’s with The Breakfast Club. I don’t care if it’s with Oprah,” Smith said.

SAS wasn’t going to let his rant go by without paying himself a subtle compliment, as he made sure to point out that Will Smtih would never give such an interview on his show, as he’d ask the hard-hitting questions no one else would.

“Because you know it ain’t gonna be me, right? He ain’t gonna sit down with me because some questions are gonna get asked; but I don’t care who it’s with. You gotta provide an explanation as to why that happened. It can’t be that you went to therapy and you learned the error of your ways, or you’ve addressed some of the demons that were plaguing you mentally and emotionally and spiritually. That’s not good enough!”

The basis for Smith’s feelings is that he believes the Oscar winner, in addition to slapping Rock, metaphorically slapped the Black community.

“And even though we weren’t the ones that were slapped literally, ladies and gentlemen, figuratively, the Black community was slapped,” Smith said.

Smith then claimed Smith would not have acted the way that he did if the comedian who made the joke about Jada Pinkett was white, naming the likes of Ricky Gervais, Bill Maher and Bill Burr.

“We know you wouldn’t have smacked Ricky Gervais. Bill Maher, Bill Burr, or a host of others. We know you wouldn’t have done that. No apology necessary. I’m just saying a lot of folks ain’t get over that. A lot of folks find it hard to just go to the movies to watch you. I’m one of those people, and I never missed a Will Smith movie.”

Based on the reactions to the video on Twitter, Smith’s comments didn’t seem to land with the community he thought he was speaking for.

“The way he consistently misses cultural conversations should be studied,” ” said one viral response to Smith’s comments. “The way he constantly misses the mark is a talent in itself,” someone else similarly said.

“It’s time SAS just take the Fox News bag, complete the grift and get out our faces,” said another popular reply.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die is just Will Smith’s second movie since “The Slap” and the first major theatrical release, as his 2022 film Emancipation was an AppleTV+ project.

Alongside Smith and fellow co-star Martin Lawrence, Bad Boys: Ride or Die, which is now playing in theaters, stars Joe Pantoliano, Alexander Ludwig, Paola Núñez, Vanessa Hudgens, Rhea Seehorn, Jacob Scipio, Eric Dane, Ioan Gruffudd, Melanie Liburd, Tiffany Haddish, and DJ Khaled.

Eric Italiano BroBIble avatar
Eric Italiano is a NYC-based writer who spearheads BroBible's Pop Culture and Entertainment content. He covers topics such as Movies, TV, and Video Games, while interviewing actors, directors, and writers.