Will Smith Proves He Still Has Hollywood Pals At Screening Of Comeback Film

After Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars over a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's bald head, the Fresh Prince's future in Hollywood was looking pretty bleak. One of his harshest consequences came courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which banned the actor from attending the Academy Awards for a decade, as reported by USA Today. Smith had previously announced his resignation from the Academy, which meant that he could no longer vote on Oscar contenders, per Variety. However, he got to keep the best actor Oscar that his peers awarded him for his work in "King Richard."

Another ramification of Smith's actions was the celebrity reckoning that he had to face. His behavior was condemned by Kathy Griffin, who tweeted that it set a bad precedent, potentially putting other comedians in danger in the future, and "Star Wars" actor Mark Hamill deemed the slap the "ugliest Oscar moment ever." Jim Carrey, meanwhile, addressed the incident on "CBS This Morning" and criticized how the Oscars audience reacted to Smith's best actor win after witnessing him slap Rock. "I was sickened by the standing ovation," he said, adding that he would have sued Smith if he were in Rock's shoes.

While he still might have plenty of critics, Smith just proved that he also has some highly influential Hollywood supporters while taking a small step toward staging a career comeback.

Dave Chappelle supports Will Smith after calling his behavior 'ugly'

On October 24, Will Smith shared an Instagram photo of the famous friends that showed up for a screening of his Apple drama "Emancipation." They included director Tyler Perry, rapper A$AP Rocky, future Super Bowl performer Rihanna, and comedian Dave Chappelle, who addressed the slap while touring with the man who was on the receiving end of it. But Chappelle did not white-knight Chris Rock during their show in Liverpool, confessing that he could see himself in Rock and Smith, per The Telegraph. He did, however, say of Smith, "He ripped his mask off and showed us he was as ugly as the rest of us."

Smith seemed thrilled to be surrounded by his celeb supporters at the movie screening, captioning his selfie, "EPIC night!! Thanx for coming to see #Emancipation." The movie is about a slave who enlists in the Union Army during the Civil War, and it was previously screened by the NAACP and Apple at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 51st Annual Legislative Conference, per The Hollywood Reporter

Smith and the film's director, Antoine Fuqua, both received praise from NAACP President Derrick Johnson, who tweeted, "[I] can't begin to tell how powerful this is for OUR community and OUR history. It's a story of adversity, of resilience, of love, and of triumph." According to Variety, Smith can still receive an Oscar nomination for the film, even though he can't personally accept his award if he wins.