Vivica A. Fox thinks Will Smith deserves a ‘second chance’.
Like everyone else, Fox stood up to Will’s infamous slap at the Oscars earlier this year. Having co-starred with both Will (Independence Day) and Jada Pinkett Smith (Closed), Fox took issue with the latter’s handling of the situation, saying that Jada — who was Chris Rock’s joke that night — was “self-righteous” when she talked about the slap. Red Table Talk in June and accused her of not taking “any responsibility”.
Now, in a new interview, Fox says she hasn’t heard from Jada since her public criticism and hopes everyone will “move on.”
“I think they’re really going through a healing time right now,” Fox said People of Will and Jada at an event on Tuesday night.
She continued, “Listen, I love Will. He’s one of my favorite people on the planet. We all make mistakes. If there’s one person who deserves a second chance, it’s him. I think he’s taken full responsibility for his actions and I’ve apologized . I just hope we can all move on from the incident and learn that it should never happen again, especially on this size of a scene.”
Will, 53, stormed the stage on Oscar night on March 27 and slammed comedian Rock, 57, for making a GI Jane jada’s shaved head joke. Rock was reportedly unaware that she suffers from alopecia. As the slapstick played, Jada was seen laughing in her seat. Will won Best Actor that night — without apologizing to The Rock in his acceptance speech — and then had an afterparty. Just the next day Will posted an apology on social media. Soon after, he resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, again apologizing, and in April was banned from attending its events for 10 years.
Smiths otherwise remained silent after the slap while everyone else weighed in. Then in June, Jada referenced the slap at the beginning of one Red Table Talk alopecia episode. In her brief remarks, she said she hoped Will and Rock would “heal” and “reconcile” after the slap because “we need them both.”
Fox was moved Wendy Williams Show in response to Jada’s comments, saying she has a “love for the Smiths,” having worked with both and knowing the family. However, “Will Smith was defensive [Jada’s] honor — that’s why he got on the stage and slapped because he felt his wife was insulted — so that I don’t see any responsibility as a partner. Also, let’s not forget, [Rock] was attacked. We can’t forget it because I basically told a joke that I really felt wasn’t that bad. I wish we could have a little more accountability and not make it seem so obvious on Jada’s part.”
In late July, Will released a video about the slap. He apologized to Rock and the comedian’s family. He also said Jada didn’t tell him to hit Rock. “I made a choice myself from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,” she said. “Jada had nothing to do with this. I’m sorry, baby. I’m sorry to my kids and my family for the heat I brought on all of us.”
Variety reported last week that Will’s Q Score — a metric that measures celebrity fame and appeal — has dropped significantly since the Oscars debacle.
Prior to the incident, Will was consistently ranked among the top 10 “Most Positively Rated” on Q’s biannual lists, alongside popular peers Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. However, the July poll showed Will’s negative rating rising from less than 10 to 26, with Q Scores executive Henry Schafer describing the results as “a very significant and sharp drop”.