I'm Sorry, But No One Can Possibly Still Be Mad About The Will Smith Oscars Slap

I'm Sorry, But No One Can Possibly Still Be Mad About The Will Smith Oscars Slap

This weekend, a large number of United States citizens went to a Donald Trump rally and raised their hands up in the air in a style reminiscent of a Nazi salute (but with just one finger) as he played some kind of QAnon song — a chilling reminder of just how far these people have gone up the ass of fascism. And not whimsical, naive, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie fascism either.

Also this weekend, there were reports about Apple supposedly "agonizing" over what to do about Emancipation, a movie starring Will Smith, about the life of "Whipped Peter,” a man whose scarred back was photographed and led to many white northerners figuring out that slavery was bad. It was previously considered a for-sure Oscar contender before the leading man slapped Chris Rock during the Oscars, after Rock made a cruel joke about how his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, one of the most stunning women in the history of ever, has alopecia, a condition that causes women to lose their hair.

Now Apple finds itself left with a $120 million unreleased awards-style movie featuring a star no longer welcome at the biggest award show of them all, and a big question: Can the film, even if it succeeds artistically, overcome the baggage that now accompanies Mr. Smith? [...]

There is no easy answer. Should the company postpone a film based on an important historical subject because its leading man is too toxic? Or does Apple release the movie and watch the outcome unfold? Audiences could be turned off by Mr. Smith’s presence, perhaps taking some gloss off the well-polished Apple brand. Or they could respond positively to the film, prompting an Oscar campaign, which could then upset members of the academy. And the question of how to publicize “Emancipation” will bring scrutiny to a film marketing unit that has already drawn grumbles of dissatisfaction in Hollywood for skimpy ad spends and disjointed communication — and parted ways with its head of video marketing this month.

So basically what they are saying here is that he got in one little fight and Apple got scared and said, "maybe we won't release this reportedly very good and important movie because people in the United States of America, a country where many elected officials are fine with their constituents trying to overthrow the government because they didn't like the results of a presidential election, might be upset."

That happened in March, in the very same week Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis signed the "Don't Say Gay" bill. Since then, American citizens have lost their reproductive rights, there's been an outbreak of monkeypox, we've had multiple horrificmass shootings, wacky church ladies have been going around banning all the books and, of course, there's been all the drama surrounding Broadway's Funny Girl. Plus so many things I can't even think of right now, despite the fact that I am sure they are all worse than Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.

Who the hell is still mad at this? Who would say, "Oh, I would specifically not see this movie because I am so mad Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars." According to that same article, probably no one:

To some, the film may be too good to keep quiet. Apple set up a general audience test screening of “Emancipation” in Chicago earlier this year, according to three people with knowledge of the event who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to discuss it publicly. They said it generated an overwhelmingly positive reaction, specifically for Mr. Smith’s performance, which one of the people called “volcanic.” Audience members, during the after-screening feedback, said they were not turned off by Mr. Smith’s recent public behavior.

Still, it has had some effect, as Smith's Q Score (a score that measures how well-liked and well-known a celebrity is) has gone down a bit — though not as much as Jada Pinkett Smith's has, which is pretty gross when you think about it.

Graph measuring Q scores of Will Smith, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith

Johnny Depp's Q score, however, has remained unchanged.

We should be so lucky to be able to consider an incident like this a legitimate scandal. As if we're so incredibly wholesome, as a people, that it's entirely reasonable for us to collectively clutch our pearls over a (kinda deserved) open-handed slap. But in a world where we regularly find out that Hollywood actors are serial rapists or are accused of being cannibals, where many of them belong to a cult known to stalk people and throw them off boats, we have absolutely no business remaining het up about this.

[New York Times]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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