If you thought Will Smith was completely blacklisted– think again.
While companies like Paramount — who were set to back a Smith-financed project entitled Bounce— have decided not to work with the actor, it’s been made clear some of Hollywood still has love for Smith, including Michael Bay.
Bay and Smith already have a working relationship as the director is behind two of his biggest hits in Bad Boys and Bad Boys II, and he’s not scared to work with the Chris Rock-slapping actor again.
“Absolutely, 100 percent,” Bay said when asked by Entertainment Weekly about working with Smith again. “He’s a very even-keeled guy. Very even-keeled.”
He went on to downplay Hollywood’s overreaction about the slap but does agree that Smith was wrong in that moment.
“Will is an amazing fighter. He’s studied boxing. First of all, it’s wrong to do, no matter what. Let’s just get that out there. But when people said, “Oh, he could have killed him.” No, a slap is different. A punch? Yeah, you can kill someone. Will gave him a slap.”
Bay has been in the media lately to promote his Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II-led flick Ambulance and shrugged off Smith getting canceled.
“I wasn’t watching. I saw it. First of all, it’s wrong to begin with. I don’t really care. Hollywood gets very self-absorbed,” he said. There are babies getting blown up in the Ukraine right now. We should be talking about that. I really don’t care.”
The fallout of the slap also included The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences banning Will Smith from attending the Oscars and any other academy events for the next 10 years.