It’s beginning to look like what was supposed to be the biggest night of Will Smith’s entire career might be the worst night of his life since becoming an actor.
I know we are tired of talking about “the slap” (especially this writer), but a whole week has passed, and news is still happening following last week’s Oscars moment. Will Smith has already apologized for smacking the taste out of Chris Rock’s mouth, leaving the comedian literally at a loss for words, no small feat, and has since resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. But that hasn’t stopped the fallout from happening, which many are saying is the blacklisting of Will Smith.
Case in point, THR reports that Netflix has decided to “quietly step away” from Fast and Loose, a project it was working on starring Will Smtih. Before “the slap,” director David Leitch stepped away to work on a project starring Ryan Gosling. The website claims Netflix was working feverishly to secure another director for the film but decided it was best not to move forward with it after the incident.
A source says Netflix was competing with Universal to be the next project for Leitch, but Universal pulled ahead. According to sources, Netflix put out an urgent call for another director to take over a project featuring the star who was heavily favored to win best actor at the Oscars. But soon after Smith’s attack on Chris Rock on the Oscars stage, Netflix quietly moved the project to the back burner.
Fast and Loose was to tell the story of a crime boss who loses his memory after an attack. Piecing together clues, he discovers that he has led a double identity as a wealthy kingpin and a broke CIA agent. It appears that Netflix was understandably wary of moving forward. It is unclear whether it will try to make the project with another star and director.
That’s the only project with Smith’s name attached to it that has stalled. THR also reports Bad Boys 4 was “paused” following him blessing Rock with the hand of God on live television.
Now it’s agreed that Rock’s joke was in poor taste due to Pinkett’s well-known battle with alopecia, which Rock claimed he didn’t know she was dealing with. The consensus is that Smith resorting to violence to solve the issue was a poor decision, and he is currently paying for it. But, many believe the moment doesn’t warrant Smith losing jobs or having his movies put on ice, while some are just calling it blatant blackballing.
Will Smith still has Emancipation in post-production, an AppleTV+ original that is described as a “slave escape drama,” that is supposed to arrive in 2022, but no exact release date has been released.
We truly and honestly hope that is not the case, but we won’t are not dismissing the notion that Hollywood is overreacting to “the slap.” We shall see how this continues to play out.
Photo: Daniele Venturelli / Getty