Opinion: Will Smith is Here to Stay

Haters can stay mad. Despite the 2022 Oscar slap controversy, Will Smith’s return in "Bad Boys: Ride or Die" showcases his enduring talent and cements his legacy as one of Hollywood's greatest actors.

Will Smith, a towering figure in the entertainment world, has carved out a career that stands as a testament to his immense talent and enduring appeal. From his early days as a rapper and sitcom star to his evolution into a versatile actor capable of delivering powerful performances across various genres, Smith's journey from the fun-loving Fresh Prince to an Oscar-winning actor showcases his growth and adaptability. Despite this remarkable trajectory, some people still choose to vilify him for the infamous Oscar slap on March 27, 2022, overshadowing his stellar achievements with that single moment of controversy.

The incident where Smith walked up to the podium and slapped Chris Rock after a joke targeting Jada Pinkett Smith shocked many. However, in the world of Hollywood, where figures like Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein have been supported despite severe allegations, Smith's slap pales in comparison.

Will Smith Breaks Silence On Oscars Slap

After publicly apologizing, Smith took a break from Hollywood and social media to reflect and regroup. This weekend, however, he made a triumphant return with "Bad Boys: Ride or Die," demonstrating his resilience and enduring star power.

The fourth installment in the Smith and Martin Lawrence buddy cop series had an impressive domestic debut, raking in $56 million from 3,885 theaters. Internationally, the film earned $48.6 million, bringing its global total to a robust $104.6 million, on a $100 million budget.

Despite this success, some mainstream media outlets seemed reluctant to acknowledge Smith's comeback. For instance, The Hollywood Reporter referred to the movie's box office performance as an "upset," a characterization that was widely criticized and eventually retracted after backlash on social media.


It's not just media outlets that have attempted to tarnish Smith's reputation. Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith suggested that Will Smith has damaged his image and needs to address the slap incident more directly.

"Will Smith apologized. I'm not saying he even has to apologize. I'm saying that while I watch him and Martin Lawrence promoting this movie, and I'm quite sure the reason he hasn't addressed it is because the studios don't want him to, and there's an obligation that you have with them. I get it. But somewhere along the way, he has to sit down and talk to the black community, and you see all the white people around Will Smith all you want to, Black folks have loved and revered this man for decades,” Stephen A. Smith babbled.

While Stephen A. Smith's remarks were intended to critique, they highlighted the double standards often applied to public figures, particularly in the Black community. His comments, however, seemed to overlook the widespread support Will Smith continues to enjoy among his fans, who appreciate his contributions to entertainment and his resilience in the face of adversity.

Tiffany Haddish Says Will Smith Stood 'Up for His Wife' at Oscars: 'Most Beautiful Thing I've Seen'

Tiffany Haddish Responds To Will Smith Slap At Oscars, Says He Stood ‘Up for His Wife’

Despite the lingering controversy, the majority of fans are eager to see Smith back on screen, celebrating his enduring charisma and talent. As audiences flock to theaters to watch "Bad Boys: Ride or Die," they affirm their support for Smith and his legacy.

Will Smith’s career is a testament to his immense talent and unwavering dedication. As he continues to evolve and take on new challenges, there is no doubt that Will Smith will be remembered as one of the greatest actors of all time, inspiring future generations of entertainers and audiences alike.

So, while some may still be clutching their pearls because of a two-year-old slap, most of us will be sitting in the theater cheering on the return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence because we’re Bad Boys for life.

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