Will Smith's Pardoning Visit Visits the 'Awful Young men's Stage


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The Will Smith Forgiveness Tour has made numerous stops. First, there was Smith's apology video to Chris Rock in July, in which he admitted that the Oscars are not the place for open-handed slaps between pedestrian celebrity jokes: "Chris, I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable, and I'm available to speak with you whenever you're ready." (To which Rock replied, "Fuck your hostage video.")

He then went to the late-night talk shows for some image repair (and promotion for Emancipation while he was at it). Pro tip: Using a tissue to dab your eyes is a great way to tell viewers, "I've been doing a lot of personal work — and Jada says it's really paying off!"

He's appeared on everything from local newscasts to national entertainment magazines, all while proclaiming that he's an imperfect man trying to be better. He told Variety that he understands if the public isn't ready for his return. It's as if Smith intuitively understands that the only thing he can offer America in exchange for its collective forgiveness is another Bad Boys movie.

Smith is pumped, you guys! It's almost time! In other words, it's time for Smith to stop doing difficult award-worthy work in films like King Richard and Emancipation and return to what moviegoers really want from him: fast cars, smart-ass quips, and crazy explosions. (However, is this really the week to announce a film about cops unleashing full force on the bad guys?) Bad Boys for Life — Smith acknowledges the missed Bad Boys 4 Life opportunity — was the final blockbuster before the pandemic, grossing $426.5 million at the box office. Can we hold Bad Boys for Life responsible for COVID? Probably not, but if we wanted to, Smith would probably apologise for that as well.

Is the sum of Smith's contrite efforts sufficient to convince Rock to put all of the ugliness behind them? The odds are that this won't be over until Rock delivers his own slaps as part of his live Selective Outrage stand-up special next month. Prepare your popcorn because it's almost that time.

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