Will Smith's Past Continues To Rear Its Ugly Head

As pretty much the whole world knows by now (unless you've literally been living under a rock, pun intended) Will Smith got into some seriously hot water on March 27 after he slapped Chris Rock on stage at the 94th Academy Awards. In case you're in need of a refresher, Rock made a joke about Will's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hair, telling her he wanted to see her in the sequel to "G.I. Jane." Jada didn't seem to take the quip too well and was seen rolling her eyes, before Will stormed the stage, gave Rock quite the hand to cheek experience, sat back down, and yelled from his seat, "Keep my wife's name out your f***ing mouth!" And, yes, it was just as intense as it sounds, leaving Rock noticeably flustered and shocked.

Smith has since publicly apologized for his behavior — twice. He first said sorry to the Academy and his peers while accepting the Best Actor Oscar for his role in "King Richard," before then saying sorry again on March 29 in a lengthy and impassioned Instagram post. That time, he actually mentioned Rock after noticeably leaving him out of his initial apology. "I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness," he wrote.

But as the apologies have hit the headlines, so has Will's eyebrow raising past.

Will's controversial appearances

It's safe to say it isn't the best time to be on Will Smith's PR team, as the actor has faced an avalanche of resurfaced footage in the wake of his Chris Rock slapping incident that we're guessing he'd have preferred to stay buried. The latest? A 2010 appearance on Spains' "El Hormiguero." The clip, found by Daily Mail, showed Will, his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and their son, Jaden Smith, chatting with Pablo Motos as he gushed to Jaden about his bright future. Motos then turned his attention to Jada, to which Will warned him in Spanish, "Pablo, also careful with the words for my wife, okay?" as he put his arm around her. Pablo smiled and took a step back, before he complimented Jada's beauty on the inside and outside as Will listened in intently.

But this is far from the only past Will appearance that's reared its ugly head in March 2021. A press junket appearance video which showed Will as he promoted "King Richard" in November 2021 has also gone viral online, as it shows Will teaching a young fan named Chris (not Rock) how to do fake movie slaps.

But that's not even all. There's also been the reappearance of a video of Will on the red carpet at the premiere of "Men In Black 3" in Russia back in 2012 in which he got physical with a reporter who hugged him and then tried to kiss him on both cheeks.

The slap aftermath

The resurfaced clips keep popping up as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences muses about what to do about Will Smith's slapping incident. "Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated. While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently," the Academy said in a statement issued to People on March 30. They confirmed that Will had been given notice that action could be taken over the slap, and had been given the opportunity to have his say by writing to them. A decision is expected to be made on April 18, and it will likely be determined then what, if anything, will happen to Will. His punishment could involve being suspended or even expelled.

As for how Chris Rock is doing in the wake of the drama? Well, Rock broke his silence regarding the incident on the same day the Academy issued a new statement. He performed a stand-up show in Boston and appeared to hint at the incident by asking attendees, "How was your weekend?" adding, "I'm still kind of processing what happened," per Variety. He didn't seem to go into any further detail about the altercation, telling the crowd, "At some point I'll talk about that s***. And it will be serious and funny."

Jada didn't seem phased before the Oscars

Will Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, didn't appear too bothered about what people thought of her hair before the 94th Academy Awards, where Will got physical with Chris Rock. In a video shared to TikTok on Match 23, which since appears to have been deleted, Jada, who has alopecia, proudly showed off her bald scalp and discussed her experience with her hair over the years as she tried to fit in with Hollywood. She explained, via TMZ, that she always felt the need to make her hair appear more European but always liked natural. "I feel the freedom today. I don't give two craps what people think of this bald head of mine. Because guess what? I love it," she said.

There have been rumors about why Will got so angry though, with a source claiming to People that Rock's previous joke about Jada from six years earlier (he quipped it didn't matter she was boycotting the show because she wasn't invited anyway) may have had something to do with his outburst. "When Chris hosted the Oscars in 2016, Jada was boycotting because of 'Oscars So White.' In his monologue, he made fun of her, saying she can't boycott something she wasn't invited to. Will was still mad about that," they claimed.

It was reported one day after the ceremony that Will and Rock had not spoken after the incident, while TMZ also claimed Rock wasn't aware of Jada's alopecia.