Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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Will Smith’s Slap At The Oscars Is Simply Another Branch On His Fall From Grace

Will Smith was once deemed to be America’s 6th most beloved actor of all time according to YouGov America, beating out the likes of Di Caprio, DeVito and even De Niro. However, now, over three decades after the release of The Fresh Prince, Will Smith seems to be spiralling out of control in a downwards cycle, the trajectory of which is unpredictable.

It all started with a string of appalling movie roles (something Smith has come synonymous with over the years). First an underwhelming appearance as the beloved Deadshot in DC’s “Suicide Squad”, then a blatant cash grab in Netflix’s “Bright” before completely bombing at the box office with the visually impressive yet soulless “Gemini Man”; Smith hasn’t had the best run this decade.

But the biggest blow to his public image came in the form of his tumultuous marriage with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, in which it became public knowledge that Will allowed his wife to date August Alsina for “years” of their marriage. This all culminated in a drop in public opinion for the Smith couple, an opinion Will made clear that he intended to rise once again.

The controversy was followed by multiple family-friendly acts of PR healing. First came a YouTube blog channel to show how happy Will and his family were going on hikes together across the desert, just like a normal family”… only with security and thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment involved. Then Will told the world about his weight gain, which made him seem so relatable, but never to fear you can learn how the star lost an incredible 20 pounds by watching his inspiring documentary “Best Shape of my Life”. And to top it all off you can follow his adventure even further by reading his New York Times best-selling autobiography “Will”.

It was safe to say that the ex-Philly native had blown enough smoke over his family-ruining debacle that he could once again sit comfortably on his throne. That was until yesterday at the Oscars when the Men in Black star’s first Oscar win was overshadowed by his need to slap comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife.

“Jada, I love you, GI Jane 2, I can’t wait to see it” was the joke that tipped Smith over the edge; A joke about Pinkett Smith’s recent public struggle with alopecia. At first, crowds saw Will Smith laughing at the joke, before taking to the stage to assault the comedian before shouting “Take my wife’s name out your fucking mouth” like a jealous child on the playground incapable of playing nice with the other kids.

Nielson Barnard, Getty Images

Was Smith trying to defend his wife? His public image? Or just create a PR stunt that would be talked about for years to come? It’s hard to tell. But what is clear is that Will Smith has only managed to further damage his reputation with his actions.

What once was a man who came from humble beginnings making his way through the cutthroat world of Hollywood, to see success against all the odds; has become a millionaire, fighting other millionaires, in front of a room full of privileged celebrities, celebrating their own achievements.

Smith has since said that he spent time reflecting on how the event not only hurt his reputation but also to his family and fellow nominees who were shocked by his actions. He also revealed that he reached out to the comedian to apologise for what he did, but it’s not clear if they’ve talked at all since the slap.

It’s unclear what the future has in store for Will Smith, but unfortunately, this appears to be his rock bottom, with the world anxiously watching to see what will happen next for the once adored sitcom star.

Words by Mason Meyers

Posted On 3 October, 2022