Will Smith, opening up about Oscars slap, tells Trevor Noah ‘hurt people hurt people’

Will Smith, one of the greatest actors of his generation, has recently opened up about the brouhaha surrounding his snub from the 2016 Academy Awards.

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Will Smith, one of the greatest actors of his generation, has recently opened up about the brouhaha surrounding his snub from the 2016 Academy Awards. During a visit to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Smith discussed his own pain and how he believes it affected people within the Hollywood industry.

The incident, which has come to be known as “the Oscars Slap,” refers to Smith’s perceived snub from the Academy despite receiving critical acclaim for his role in Concussion. As Smith explained to Noah, he felt personally hurt and believes the snub affected people in Hollywood, who may have in turn decided to not select his fellow African-American actors for certain roles.

Smith described the current feeling in Hollywood, as “a culture of hurt people,” suggesting that hurt people often become so pre-occupied with their own pain, that they cause hurt to others. The actor added that “What happens is, you go into survival mode, and when you go into survival mode, what happens — the thing that happens to you, you then, become proclivity to passing on the pain.”

Ultimately, Smith commented that he believes people are often acting out of fear and fragility rather than intentioned racism, and that the cycle will only be broken when the culture of hurt is addressed.

Will Smith’s visit to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah has not only helped to provide understanding to his own pain and the current climate in Hollywood, but has also shined a light on an important topic that affects us all. It is evident that Smith is still a very much a powerhouse in Hollywood, and his words certainly carry weight.

Will Smith Opens Up About Oscars Slap

Will Smith recently opened up to The Daily Show host Trevor Noah about the incident involving a comedian who slapped him at the Moscow premiere of his film Men in Black 3.

The Incident

The slap occurred in 2012 when a Ukrainian comedian and prankster named Vitalii Sediuk lunged at Smith, reportedly yelling: “I am your biggest fan.” Smith said he “felt the wind and just got stuck” as the comedian made contact with his face. Bodyguards and crew members immediately separated Sediuk from Smith.

An Honest Reflection

When talking about the incident with Noah, Smith reflected honestly. He compared his response of “stun” at the time to an understanding of the situation now. In his words:

“At the time I was shocked, but afterwards I realized that you can’t go around hurting people. That guy was hurt. Hurt people hurt people.”

Reactions to the Event

The event made international news and many people took notice. Some reactions included:

  • Praise: Smith was praised for remaining relatively calm in reaction to being attacked. He simply requested for Sediuk to be removed and handled the incident with humility.
  • Criticism: Smith was criticized for not doing more to hold Sediuk accountable and stop his actions.


Smith’s open discussion with Noah merited more discussion around how to handle situations like this. It showed that there must be more effort and understanding towards addressing the hurtful modern world in which we live.