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It’s Official: Audiences Have Forgiven Will ‘The Slap’ Smith

'Bad Boys: Ride or Die' revives summer box office, superstar's career

Cancel Culture is often cruel and unforgiving.

Ask Roseanne Barr, canceled for one ugly, racially-charged Tweet. She’s had to forge a new career independent of Hollywood, from her Fox Nation stand-up special to Daily Wire+’s “Mr. Birchum.

Louis CK lost millions along with his mainstream career after confessing he performed a sexual act in front of unsuspecting women. Like Barr, he may never be accepted back into Hollywood, Inc.

Will Smith faced a similar issue of his own making.

Watch the uncensored moment Will Smith smacks Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, drops F-bomb

The “King Richard” star slapped Oscar presenter Chris Rock in front of a global audience two years ago. The actor took issue with Rock’s reference to his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head. The incident, swiftly dubbed “The Slap,” stained Smith’s career in ways no one could have predicted.

Would audiences embrace the affable Smith again? Could he return to the action comedies that once rocked the box office?

We got our answer over the weekend.

Will Smith and the Box Office: It’s Not Complicated

Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” Smith’s first populist film since “The Slap,” scored big at the U.S. box office. The movie’s $56 million haul not only gave Hollywood a sigh of relief given recent blockbuster fails it showed Americans are willing to forgive (if not forget) Smith’s transgressions.

The film teams Smith with Martin Lawrence again as Miami cops whose bond helps them survive crisis after crisis. It’s precisely the kind of mainstream blockbuster Smith delivered for decades.

Would the sequel land differently given the post-“Slap” era? Apparently not.

Need more?

The new film indirectly references the slap in a clever way that feels organic to the story.


Smith’s character, Mike, is suffering from panic attacks in the fourth installment, and one strikes at the worst possible time. Lawrence’s Marcus knows he needs Mike’s police skills to save the day. So Marcus slaps him repeatedly to shake him out of his emotional stupor.

It’s a brilliant way to acknowledge what happened without taking audiences out of the experience.

Cancel Culture, Like Twitter, Isn’t Real Life

Audiences aren’t on board with Cancel Culture rules and regulations. They understand that movie stars are human and they make all-too-human mistakes. Smith has suffered significantly in the wake of his ugly actions that night.

His brand – handsome, charming, talented and carefree – may never recover from the incident. The bond he shares with fellow artists may also take years to resolve.

We’ll never know the full story behind the jobs he lost following the incident.

Cancel Culture may want to permanently ban select stars, but the movie-going public has a mind of its own.


  1. No one has forgiven him because no one cares. This movie is for blacks and stupid kids. He could kill puppies on the courthouse steps and they would still go see this trash.

  2. Weird how you place on the same level of cancel crimes A RACIST who likened the disgusting Valerie Jarret to a MONKEY a man who PULLED HIS DICK OUT AND JERKED OFF IN FRONT OF WOMEN and a guy who slapped another guy for a perceived “insult” of his wife. That’s some bullspit right there . Hey, what’s wrong with a little RACISM guys, says a POS never affected by it and who hasn’t JERKED OFF in front of CO-WORKERS! That’s totes the same as a guy slapping another guy! C’mon man~!

  3. his box office will do aiight if he sticks to action/comedy etc. family friendly/moralizing flicks tho? prob not.

  4. Audiences have forgiven him because he’s likeable. A likeable guy who let his temper get the best of him once, but a likeable guy, nonetheless.
    Unlike, say, De Niro.

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