Will Smith's King Richard Co-Stars Have Reached Out Since The Slap And Offer Update On Where He's At Emotionally

It’s been several months since Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Academy Awards and, in the time since it happened, a plethora of people have spoken out on the matter. However, Smith himself has been keeping a low profile since the night the polarizing moment occurred. Updates on the star’s status have mostly come by way of insiders for the most part. Though he’s stayed under the radar, he’s apparently spoken to a couple of his colleagues over the past few months. Two of his King Richard co-stars have reached out since, and they’ve provided an update on where the actor is emotionally. 

Saniyya Sidney and Mikayla Bartholomew played Venus Williams and Tunde Price, respectively, in last year’s King Richard. Will Smith played their on-screen dad, Richard Williams and, judging by their interactions during the press tour last year, the stars became close behind the scenes. In the aftermath of the slap, that relationship continues, as the two revealed during their appearance at the BET Awards that they’ve spoken with Smith. And according to Bartholomew, the Oscar winner is in good spirits:

Every time I talk to him, he always says everything is in divine splendor, ya know, so he's good. It's always good to chat with him.

Months before the actress shared those sentiments with ET, it was said that the A-lister was on a “spiritual journey” of sorts. The star reportedly headed to India in April in order to seek out “yoga and meditation.” This was shortly after the actor issued a public apology for the incident. Though it’s unclear as to whether the two have formally reconciled, the I Am Legend star has apparently found some sort of peace, based on these new comments. 

Though the actor has not personally opened up since about the incident on Oscars night, his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, has. Pinkett Smith spoke about the slap on an episode of her show, Red Table Talk, during which she expressed her hope that Smith and Chris Rock would reconcile at some point. The actress also claimed that she and her husband plan to “do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that’s keep figuring out this thing called life together.” In that same segment, Pinkett Smith also spoke about the growing awareness of alopecia, which she sees a silver lining amid the situation. 

The Hollywood stars that have chimed in on the matter include the likes of Steve Harvey and Jim Carrey. When Harvey weighed in, he called it a “punk” move and said that “he lost a lot of respect for [Smith].” Carrey was “sickened” by the incident, asserting that he would’ve sued the Men in Black star for $200 million had he been hit on stage. Conversely, Marlon Wayans offered words of advice for Smith, while former Aunt Viv actress Janet Hubert voiced her support for her former co-star.

As it stands, Will Smith is expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a decade. He’s also experienced setbacks with a few of his film projects. Despite all of this though, it’s more than evident that his King Richard co-stars and a number of other colleagues still have his back as he navigates his career in the aftermath of the slap.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.