Twitter split into Will Smith apology video

Twitter split into Will Smith apology video

Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock. Video / Will Smith

Twitter is once again divided over actor Will Smith after he broke his months-long silence over the infamous moment he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.

Many condemned it as a PR stunt, while others praised it as a “genuine show of remorse” after Smith apologized to the comedian in a five-minute video posted to his YouTube channel.

The Q&A-style video was Smith’s attempt to answer “a lot of fair questions” people had about the moment he was banned from the Oscars for 10 years.

“Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work,” he told fans in the video.

“I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that comes back is that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is, he’ll be in touch.

“I’ll tell you Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here when you’re ready to talk.”

Will Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor after slapping Chris Rock on stage.  Photo / Getty Images
Will Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor after slapping Chris Rock on stage. Photo / Getty Images

But despite Smith’s emotional explanations, many took to Twitter either loving or hating the public apology.

all about will

American comedian Christopher Titus was among the many voices on Twitter that condemned the apology as insincere and self-centered.

“Will Smith lost me again,” Titus said in a post. “Dude, Chris said he’ll get in touch with you when he’s ready, why are you pushing him?”

“You attacked a man on a global broadcast. You can’t choose the rescue schedule, and by doing so publicly, you’ve done it to yourself…again.”

And according to producer and former actor/director Morgan Tremaine, the video felt more like a PR stunt than a genuine apology.

“This Will Smith apology video has a PR team written all over it,” Tremaine said.

“They’re testing the waters to see how the general public feels about him – nothing to do with Chris.”

But not everyone is convinced that Smith’s prolonged silence and sudden apology missed the mark.

Lawyer and political and women’s rights activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu said Smith’s apology was “crude and human”.

“Sorry Will Smith – I felt it. It’s raw and human,” said Mos-Shogbamimu.

“I was very disappointed in his action that night and it seems he doesn’t understand either, but he makes no excuses.”

But while Mos-Shogbamimu appreciated Smith’s public gesture, she also said Rock’s decision to stay away from Smith and “take the time he needs” was something to be respected.

Mos-Shogbamimu’s sentiments were echoed by popular YouTuber Fraser MacDonald, who also condemned Smith’s attack but also sympathized with the actor.

“I don’t agree with Will Smith hitting Chris Rock but his apologies to me are clearly so genuine and sincere,” MacDonald said on Twitter.

“I’m also not surprised that the man spoke like that, he has been constantly scolded by the media for years and made fun of whenever he was vulnerable and sad.

“With his actions you can agree or disagree, but I hate how much context has been removed from the construction of the situation and people acting like he’s this horrible human being.”

We need to talk about Jada

While a key aspect of the video of Smith driving the social divide is whether Smith was a victim or perpetrator of trauma – commentators agreed that the equally infamous photo of Jada giving Will “the look” was fake.

Smith says his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, never asked him to do anything about Rock's joke at the Oscars.  Photo / Getty Images
Smith says his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, never asked him to do anything about Rock’s joke at the Oscars. Photo / Getty Images

Comedian, media personality and singer Jessie Woo said that “her favorite part” of Smith’s video was her clarification of Pinkett Smith’s involvement.

“My favorite part of Will Smith’s apology is him making it CLEAR that Jada never told him to do anything with Chris after his joke,” Woo said in a post.

Woo called out the many people and media outlets who “built a following” for “blaming Jada and spewing hate at her for what Will did”.

“You are too desperate to make her a villain.”

In his video, Smith was asked if wife Jada Pinkett Smith had asked her husband to do something after visibly rolling his eyes at Rock’s joke, before he stormed onto the stage – to which the actor simply replied “no”.

“I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my story with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry honey,” he added.

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