Will Smith’s Q Score Really Fell After The Oscars Slap. Two Reasons It May Not Matter Anymore

Will Smith toasting Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys For Life.
(Image credit: Sony)

Will Smith had previously been one of the most popular stars in the world, all before Oscar Night 2022. When he slapped Chris Rock live on stage, perception of Smith by the general public certainly shifted. And while there has been recent evidence that Smith is still suffering some ill effects from that event months later, it’s less than clear that those effects really matter. 

It was recently revealed that Will Smith’s Q score has dropped significantly since the measurement was last taken in January. The Q score is a measurement of likability that is given to everything from celebrities to brands. Smith’s positive Q score dropped from 39 to 24 and his negative score went up from under 10 to 26. Those are significant changes indicating that Smith’s likability with the general public has gone down significantly. However, Vanity Fair suggests that in the social media age, Q score may not mean what it once did.

These days a potentially more accurate gauge of how the public feels about a celebrity than a survey of random people as young as six is how people react to them on social media. Will Smith still has over 63 million followers on Instagram and in the last couple of months (since he has returned to social media following a hiatus after the slap) his posts are back to getting hundreds of thousand if not millions of likes, and tens of thousands of comments. That’s right where his posts were before the slap.

Will Smith’s professional life also appears to be getting back on track. After seeing several of Smith's projects get delayed following the slap, though not necessarily because of it, Will Smith’s new movie for Apple TV+ Emancipation is now set for a theatrical release in December. While the movie had been talked about as a possible Oscar contender, it had been unclear if the movie would actually be released in time to be considered.

The fact that it is being released in time to contend for awards would seem to indicate that Apple doesn’t think the association with Will Smith will tarnish the film in any way. They think that people will either be interested in a brand new Will Smith movie, or at the very least they don’t think Smith will be a hindrance to the movie’s success.

Q scores are one of those things that have generally been seen as important within the industry when it comes to what stars are considered bankable, but we the world may have changed enough that they don’t mean what they used to, or perhaps how the Q score is calculated should be updated to include things like the social media perception. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.