Will Smith makes his Instagram comeback after the notable incident involving Chris Rock’s slap at the 2022 Oscars. The actor had taken a social media hiatus after the controversial incident in March, which saw him striking comedian Rock onstage after a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith’s comeback post follows revelations made by Pinkett Smith in her new memoir, ‘Love Will.’ The book details her marriage to Smith, including an affair she had with singer August Alsina during a brief split from her husband.
In an Instagram video, Smith is shown answering various questions while holding up handwritten cards. One fan asks, “How do you feel?” to which Smith responds, “Better.” He also confirms he has read some of Pinkett Smith’s book, commenting, “It’s fantastical.”
While Smith doesn’t directly address the slap or aftermath, his return marks a tentative step back into the public eye. The actor stepped down from the Academy and faced a 10-year ban from attending the Oscars.
Pinkett Smith’s memoir provides her side of events, including the infidelity that brought great strain to their marriage. She describes meeting Alsina, who was 22 at the time, and being attracted to the “beautiful, broken soul” as their family was falling apart.
The affair took place during a separation from Smith, who was unaware Alsina had been intimate with his wife. Pinkett Smith writes, “I just wanted to feel good. It had been so long since I felt good.” She ended the relationship after it “ran its course” and reconciled with her husband.
In his Instagram video, Smith confirms he’s read sections of Pinkett Smith’s memoir. When asked, “What did you think?” he tactfully responds, “You know… I think the thing that surprised me is how all of the people around us had no idea.”
The actor’s brief return to social media indicates he is ready to emerge after months of silence tentatively. However, Smith still faces scrutiny and professional fallout from slapping Rock over a joke about Pinkett Smith’s hair loss from alopecia.
His first post-Oscars appearance suggests Smith is hoping to move forward, even as his wife’s memoir revisits painful aspects of their marriage. By declining to mention the slap directly, Smith avoids further controversy for now. But the road to full redemption will likely be a long one, paved with far more than handwritten Instagram cards.
The public response to Smith’s comeback has been mixed. Some sympathetic fans welcomed him back to Instagram and commended his grace in the face of controversy. Critics argue it’s too soon for a return when the actor has yet to apologize or make amends fully.
Chris Rock himself has only briefly addressed the slap during comedy shows, joking, “I’m not a victim. Yeah, that sht hurt…But I shook that sht off and went to work the next day.” He has shown no interest in extending an olive branch.
For now, only time will tell whether Will Smith can rehabilitate his image and career in the eyes of fans, peers and the entertainment industry. While his wife’s memoir provides context, it does not absolve Smith’s behaviour. The path forward will require ample reflection, atonement and patience.