While many people continue to debate whether Will Smith was justified for slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars and take sides, one topic that still hangs in the balance is The Fresh Prince’s career. Some reports say that Smith is now seen as radioactive in Hollywood and his time as a leading man is kaput. But, The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg thinks time will heal this wound and that Smith will be okay.
“Some of Will Smith’s future projects are in question. The question is does he have a path back? Yes, of course he does,” Goldberg said on Monday’s airing. “He’ll be fine, he’ll be back. No worries.”
The 66-year-old Goldberg is no stranger to controversy throughout her own career. When her then-boyfriend Ted Danson appeared in blackface and reportedly told jokes using the N-word at her October 1993 Friars Club roast, Goldberg took the whole matter in stride and defended him. (Mo’Nique brought up this chapter from Goldberg’s past three years ago and even called her “the help.”)
More recently, claims of anti-Semitism were being launched at Goldberg for her statement that the Jewish Holocaust was “not about race [but] about man’s inhumanity to man.” Michael Rapaport immediately took to Twitter and went at Goldberg, and some Jewish organizations called for her to be fired from The View. The comedienne, who has hosted the show for a decade and a half, apologized and was resultantly suspended for two weeks by ABC.
So Goldberg was sympathetic to Smith’s current plight. “Everyone of us steps in poo at some point,” she added.
And though Smith may forever have to deal with this blemish on his reputation, the damage may not be as irreparable as some think. “He’s unquestionably a very talented entertainer and actor, and he’s built a whole lot of good will throughout his career, so people are going to be open to forgiving him and redeeming himself,” Evan Nierman, founder of the crisis PR firm Red Banyan, told The Wrap.
“He is going to work again, he’s going to continue to get acting jobs, and if he handles himself properly in the coming weeks and months, this will be a stain on his career,” Nierman continued, “but it’s one that will be surmountable, and his future still looks bright… Because Will Smith is too big to fail.”