Will Smith’s first appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah after the infamous Oscars slap has recently received mixed reactions from Hollywood.
On Monday, Smith was interviewed for the first time after his apology to Chris Rock who he smacked at the Oscars earlier this year over his joke on Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness.
Reflecting on the latest interview with Noah, one studio publicist source told PEOPLE, “I thought he was doing a good job but he did two things that bothered me: He never said he was sorry again, and he didn't address Chris Rock again.”
“Maybe that's on purpose, but when he said, 'I have to accept myself as being a flawed human,' it was a little bit of, I'm letting myself off the hook. I wanted to hear something about the work he's doing,” said the publicist.
Another insider remarked, “I do believe he's gutted. But I needed more humility.”
“I don't think this automatically shifts him into a different position in the Oscar race but I do appreciate that he recognises he’s jeopardised the work of all these artists,” commented the source.
The insider pointed out, “I just wanted 'sorry.' What I do agree with is that cancel culture is getting bananas. I don't think he should be judged on this one incident [the rest of his life.”
Other PR executive stated, “I will tell you that my position is this: Audiences love him. The industry loves him."
“What hurt so much in that slap is that it was one of the most beloved actors of our generation. It may not be today or tomorrow or, specifically, this Oscar season, but as horrible as the moment was, people really wish it never happened and would love to be able to move on,” mentioned the PR executive.
The PR source added, “Chris Rock, to be clear, deserves a lot of credit for that. Had he handled it differently — and he had every right to do so — we'd all be in a different place.”
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