Will Smith Recalls Oscars Slap, Wants You To Feel Sorry For Him

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Will Smith is doing the rounds to promote his new movie Emancipation and get in the public’s good graces. He dropped by The Daily Show — which believe it or not, used to be a comedy show — on Monday night.

As you’d expect, soon-to-be ex-Daily Show host Trevor Noah brought the conversation back to Smith’s infamous slap at the Oscars. The incident has proved to be quite the traumatic experience for not just Chris Rock, but the nation at large.

“I was gone,” Smith said. “That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”

Smith had managed to suppress his rage for a “really long time,” but couldn’t get through an evening at the Academy Awards without slapping a comedian.

That just goes to show how insufferable the Oscars have become.

But you’ve got to feel bad for the true victim in that whole fiasco: Will Smith.

“That was a horrific night as you can imagine,” he said. “There’s many nuances and complexities to it, you know, but at the end of the day, I just — I lost it and I guess what I would say [is] you just never know what somebody’s going through.”

First of all, there wasn’t a lot of nuance or complexity to that situation. One guy told a joke and another guy got mad about that joke and slapped the first guy. That’s about as simple as a situation can be.

Will Smith — who was going through a lot at the time — shortly after slapping another adult on live, prime-time television. (Getty Images)

Smith Is Working Through A Lot, Is Clearly Very Brave, And Definitely Not A Raging Narcissist

While admitting it didn’t justify slapping an adult in front of a theater filled with other adults, Smith pointed to childhood trauma as one factor for the incident.

“It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother. It’s, you know, all of that just bubbled up at that moment,” Smith explained. “That’s not who I want to be.”

Doing his best impression of a cheap shrink, Noah weighed in.

“I also think that’s not who you are,” Noah said. “I think it’s not who you are, I think everybody can make a mistake.”

After Earth was a mistake. Slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars is a couple of notches above that.

Trevor Noah and Will Smith — who once again, was going through a lot that evening — celebrate after he won his first academy award… Smith also slapped Chris Rock in the face that night. (WireImage)

Tears Were An Integral Part Of The Will Smith Redemption Tour

What would a redemption tour be without tears and some Kleenex dabbing?

Then things got weird. Smith told a story that whether true or not reads like one of those tweets that you can tell didn’t happen. Y’know the ones. Where a parent explains how their two-year-old made a salient point about the generational importance of the 2022 midterm elections while having their diaper changed.

That kind of story.

“He is the sweetest little boy. We came home and he had stayed up late to see his Uncle Will and we’re sitting in my kitchen and he’s on my lap and he’s holding the Oscar and he’s just like ‘Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?’” Smith said, the waterworks starting to crank up.

You can imagine his publicist standing off stage nodding approval like a proud stage parent.

That’s right, give ’em the tears… make them feel sorry for Will.

Smith closed up the interview that he is working toward forgiving… himself.

“That was one of the big things for me over this last couple of months — you know, that I had to forgive myself for being human,” he said.

I think there’s only one word to describe Will Smith: brave.

…and by “brave” I mean “douche.”

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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