“Now, this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.” The Will Smith rap from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rings true for the actor even today, albeit in a completely different context. We are obviously referring to the infamous Oscar ‘Slapgate’ incident between the Men in Black actor and comedian Chris Rock. It’s been almost 6 months since the incident and the aftermath is still looming at large.
Between Will Smith attempting some damage control and everyone still talking about it, the buzz around the controversial and very public altercation is here to stay. Bill Maher is an American comedian, and television host best known for his late-night show Politically Incorrect. He too candidly spoke about the ill-famed incident. Let us see what he has to say.
Bill Maher defends but doesn’t excuse Will Smith
Recently, in an episode of Club Random Podcast hosted by Bill Maher, the comedian had an open discussion with fellow comedian and ‘Roastmaster General’ Jeff Ross about the disputable Will Smith-Chris Rock Oscar stand-off. Starting with Smith’s Academy Award-winning film, King Richard, Maher had nothing but praise for the actor’s performance.
“I’m not saying I excuse the slap now, but I totally get why he was in such an emotional state,” said Bill. According to him, Smith’s embodiment of the character in the movie rendered him overly sensitive. Smith let his emotions get the better of him and the Slap-Gate was supposedly the result of that.
Bill Maher truly believes that Will Smith was the best actor among the stars nominated for the prestigious award. He reiterates, saying, “He was magnificent and I get why he was, you know, I don’t get why he chose to slap somebody…” Before he could complete his statement, Jeff Ross interrupted him and pointed out that smith “didn’t do the role the day of the Oscars.”
Nevertheless, Bill continued to advocate for the actor. He said, “That was what was suffused into his mind and his emotions that day.” The podcaster claims that the emotionally driven role was still fresh in Smith’s mind. “I’m not excusing the slap, I’m just saying I get why he was crazy emotional,” expresses Bill when Jeff Ross starts to disagree with him.
Well, Will Smith’s talent was never the point of debate, anyway. But is it fair to separate the art from the artist? Do you agree with Bill Maher? Let us know in the comments below. If you wish to return to a simpler time, perhaps you can check out The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air streaming on Netflix. It even has a Chris Rock cameo.