It’s Been Two Years. Can We Let Go Of “The Slap” Now?

March 27, 2022 was Will Smith’s big night. After three decades transitioning from family-friendly rapper, to comically cool sitcom star, to action-packed Summer blockbuster sure-bet, he was finally poised to be recognized as the brilliant thespian he is at the core of it all. And he was. 

Smith was awarded the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for King Richard, the sports biopic detailing the grit, determination, and protection of a father with a vision of greatness for his children. 

But something….else happened first. 

Everyone likely recalls their initial reaction to what has now been simply boiled down to “The Slap;” the now-infamous moment that the A-list actor reacted violently to an ill-timed joke from presenter Chris Rock, aimed at his wife Jada. The shock, the confusion, the nervous laughter melting into hand-over-mouth incredulity setting in – “Wait, is this a skit? Wait…are they about to fight?” 

After the tense moment passed and producers hurried to commercial break, Smith was instantly surrounded by concerned peers in the auditorium. An embrace from Tyler Perry. Counsel from Denzel Washington. A hug from Bradley Cooper. The actor carried on the night, eventually tearfully accepting his honor and later attending the Vanity Fair afterparty with his trophy and his family in tow, celebrating the career milestone seemingly without missing a beat. 

It’s Been Two Years. Can We Let Go Of “The Slap” Now?
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: (L-R) Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, Will Smith, Jaden Smith and Trey Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

Though the evening ended on a high note, the controversy for Smith had just begun. For his part, he swiftly addressed the fresh scar on his image and…

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