Stephen A. Smith, Will Smith, Chris Rock

Stephen A. Smith Won’t See A Will Smith Movie Until He ‘Talks To The Black Community’ About Chris Rock Oscars Slap

Stephen A. Smith isn't supporting a Will Smith movie until he takes time to "talk to the Black community" about slapping Chris Rock.

Will Smith dominated the box office this past weekend with the latest installment to his Martin Lawrence-assisted buddy cop film franchise, Bad Boys: Ride or Die. But there’s one public figure who isn’t supporting a Will Smith movie until he takes time to “talk to the Black community” about slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards.

Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith took to his nightly podcast on Sunday, June 9, to explain why he is boycotting the latest Bad Boys film, despite the warm reception it received at the box office. In a segment titled “Are we embracing Will Smith again?” Stephen A. brought attention to Will Smith avoiding the Oscars slap topic during his Bad Boys press run and why it’s rubbing him the wrong way.

“Will Smith apologized. I’m not saying he even has to apologize. I’m saying that while I watch him and Martin Lawrence promoting this movie, and I’m quite sure the reason he hasn’t addressed it is because the studios don’t want him to, and there’s an obligation that you have with them, all fear,” Stephen A. explained.

“I get it. But somewhere along the way, he has to sit down and talk to the Black community. You can see all the White people around Will Smith, all you want to. Black folks have loved and revered this man for decades.”

While expressing his genuine “love” for Will Smith, Stephen A. explained why the superstar actor still owes an explanation to Black people due to the setback he placed on the community as a whole when he stepped on the Oscars stage and slapped another Black man for the world to see.

“Everybody makes a mistake. This is not hatred. I love Will Smith still, but you got to have a conversation as to why you did that,” Stephen A. said

“And when you’re apologizing, and when you get emotional, and when you’re thinking about all the lives or the people that you’ve affected, it’s primarily us as Black people who have loved and supported you and watched you go on an international stage and slap one of us in the face, and tarnished a historic event for one of the great Black producers of modern times in Will Packer. Possibly costing yourself and Antoine Fuqua an Oscar for ‘Emancipation'”‘ along the way.”

Stephen A. also shared his belief that Will Smith wouldn’t have physically assaulted any white comedians like “Ricky Gervais, Bill Maher, Bill Burr, and a host of others” the way he did Chris Rock. As a result, Stephen A. is among the group of people who still can’t muster up the energy to go out and support a Will Smith film.

“A lot of folks ain’t get over that. A lot of folks find it hard to just go to the movies to watch you. I’m one of those people,” Stephen A. said.

When a clip of Stephen A.’s rant made its way on social media, the ESPN host doubled down on his claims and teased the update he would be providing to his Will Smith debate.

“Yep. I said it. But I have some additional thoughts — thinking about all that Will & Martin have done for us all — especially after talking to my man Charlie Mack,” Stephen A. tweeted. “I’ve got more to say on ‘The Stephen A. Smith Show/Podcast’ tomorrow.”

However, the First Take host continued to come under fire from many who believe he’s being too hard on Will Smith.

“Why do we need you to further elaborate on a terrible take?” one critic wrote.

“He already did Red Table Talk, he apologized to Chris and reached out to him. The Academy already suspended him for 10 years. It’s time to move past this,” added someone else.

The fourth installment to Will Smith and Lawrence’s 30-year-old action franchise swept the box office during opening weekend, raking in $105 million globally with $56 million domestically. It was a huge comeback for the King Richard star who experienced a fall from grace following his infamous Oscars slap against Chris Rock over two years ago.

The success of Bad Boys: Ride or Die showed the box office success Smith could still receive even in the wake of a physical assault captured on national television. But Stephen A. is showing that a few emotional apologies aren’t enough for a box office superstar and he demands more from Will Smith.