It’s almost hard to believe, but it’s been almost a year since the 2022 Oscars, where Will Smith famously walked the stage and beat Chris Rock over a joke he made about Sure Pinkett Smith’s look. The discourse surrounding the incident has not stopped in the months that have passed, as the Oscar winner embarked on his comeback tour. Almost a year later, Joe Rogan weighed in on whether people should forgive Smith for the Oscar snub.
Joe Rogan has a very popular one podcast called The Joe Rogan Experience, which often goes viral thanks to his various hot takes. While he was initially quite critical of Will Smith after The Slap, time seems to have softened his approach. In a recent episode, he explained why he thinks so the Aladdin actor deserves to be forgiven for his public transgression, saying:
Well, there you have it. It looks like Joe Rogan thinks Will Smith deserves to be welcomed back to Hollywood. Namely because he clearly regrets his actions at last year’s Oscar ceremony. Additionally, Rogan considers the years when Smith was a beloved figure in the industry that generations of fans looked up to.
As previously mentioned, Joe Rogan’s comments on his recent podcast episode stand in line with his original reaction to Will Smith punching Chris Rock on TV. At the time, he wrote that the actor/producer should have been kicked out of the Oscars after the blowout, instead of being allowed to stay and accept the award for Best Actor. In addition, he bet that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith would be divorced before the end of the year. But it seems time has helped change his perspective.
Despite the passage of time, there is still much ongoing discussion about Will Smith, Chris Rock, and the fallout from The Slap. The King Richard actor stayed out of the public eye for several months, before he finally back to social media and the outside world. His professional comeback apparently began with the release of Antoine Fuqua’s Liberation, which has the potential to become another award season favourite. We’ll just have to see if voters were able to separate Smith and the film from his controversy. The material itself is certainly strong enough.
Liberation streaming on Apple TV+ now. Be sure to check out 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. We’ll just have to watch and see if/how Will Smith’s career continues to bounce back from The Slap.