It’s the slap that, sadly, keeps on giving.
Sure, actor Will Smith has resigned from the Academy after taking a whack at comedian Chris Rock during the Oscars after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. He’s also been banned from the Oscars for 10 years — despite the fact he was allowed to hang around the ceremony after the smack to win the year’s Best Actor award.
The March 27 incident, broadcast around the world, shined a light on Hollywood’s double standard, particularly given that Smith wasn’t arrested or removed from the ceremony.
(But then, if it weren’t for double standards, Hollywood wouldn’t have any standards at all — something we’ve been documenting for years here at The Western Journal. We’ll keep chronicling Hollywood’s hypocrisy. You can help us by subscribing.)
However, many are now shining a light on Will Smith’s relationship with his wife — and they’re arguing it might be an abusive marriage.
According to the Daily Caller, the hashtags #FreeWill and #FreeWillSmith have been popping up on social media after resurfaced footage and stories from the couple’s marriage demonstrated problematic behavior on Pinkett’s side.
In one video, Pinkett starts rolling camera on footage of Smith that was originally broadcast on Instagram Live to promote her show, “Red Table Talk.”
“You know [therapist] Esther Perel is coming to the table — she’s gonna be at the ‘Red Table,’” Pinkett can be heard saying in the 2019 video.
“Would you say she has been instrumental in you and I redefining our relationship?” she asks Smith, who clearly has no intention of taking part in this.
Should Will Smith leave Jada Pinkett Smith?
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Smith, upset but diplomatic, answers, “I would say, don’t just start filming me without asking me.”
Pinkett then turns the camera back to herself, saying, “I’m still dealing with foolishness.” She then tries again: “Would you say that she [Perel] helped us heal the hurts that we caused between one another?”
“My social media presence is my bread and butter. So you can’t just use me for social media. Don’t just start rolling; I’m standing in my house. Don’t start rolling,” Smith responds.
This is incredibly gross, abusive behavior from Jada aimed at Will Smith.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) April 8, 2022
Pinkett’s “Red Table Talk” show, it’s worth noting, is the same program she brought Smith on to talk about their conjugal difficulties during an infamous 2020 episode where Pinkett talked about her “entanglement” (read: extramarital affair) with rapper August Alsina.
Another sign things were amiss came from an anecdote about Pinkett’s 40th birthday party. Smith had been planning it for three years and had hired singer Mary J. Blige, a documentary film crew and genealogists to trace her family’s roots.
Her response? “This is the most ridiculous display of your ego.”
For those asking pic.twitter.com/fpH8vrRa6v
— !!!!!🌙 (@ojay_obin) April 4, 2022
Another curious moment came during the slap itself. While most everyone saw Pinkett’s initial reaction to Rock’s joke, the audience at home didn’t see what she was doing when he went up on stage to slap the comedian and throw 30 years of goodwill — and likely tens of millions of dollars in future earnings — down the platinum toilet:
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers will find offensive.
New video shows Jada Pinkett Smith laughing after husband Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.#humillation#SlapChrisRock#ChrisRock #WillSmith#introvert #introverts #introvertmemes #Jada #Reaction #react18 pic.twitter.com/ulQuPqqidY
— Mr Stanlei (@mrstanlei) March 31, 2022
Instead of stopping her husband, she had a laugh over it as Rock maintained his composure enough on stage to inform the audience that “Will Smith just smacked the s*** out of me.”
She didn’t even respect Smith enough to stop him from ruining the best night of his professional life and turning it into the worst.
This has given rise to the #FreeWill and #FreeWillSmith hashtags on Twitter, with users saying the “King Richard” star needs to get out of an emotionally abusive relationship with a woman who clearly doesn’t respect him:
➡️Will Smith is a prisoner in his own home.
➡️Will Smith is a prisoner in his own marriage. #JadaPinkettSmith has mentally abused him to the point of violence in public. I can only imagine the evil in that house.
We need Will back. ASAP.#FreeWillSmith #FreeWill #WillSmith pic.twitter.com/ONOHYXivzc
— G Fam (@GFAM2021) April 9, 2022
Will Smith needs to be divorced & narcissistic manipulative abusive devil Jada Pinkett Sina MUST instead pay him alimony.#FreeWillSmith #FreeWilly #WillSmith pic.twitter.com/ykMBa1RxRk
— Lost & Broke (@DeepTechnolgyAI) April 8, 2022
I don’t condone what he did to Chris but this absolutely is pent up emotional trauma from being in a relationship with Jada. He needs to get out. #FreeWillSmith
— Nate Evanetz 🇺🇸 (@ckent83) April 8, 2022
This explains so much. Can the public just forgive this poor man already? He needs help and he needs OUT. #FreeWillSmith pic.twitter.com/9GKwFSQup4
— OEPhilly Art (@ButtyTheSlice) April 7, 2022
Of course, there’s a certain irony in the hashtag #FreeWill being used as part of a campaign to provide exculpatory evidence to Will Smith.
If you believe human beings have free will, you’ll concede Smith had every ability to check his behavior via free will before he marched on stage and thwacked Chris Rock across the face. Emotional abuse is never an excuse for physical abuse — particularly when that physical abuse is directed at someone who isn’t the emotional abuser.
An argument could theoretically be made for Stockholm Syndrome due to Jada’s bullying, perhaps. Whatever the case, nothing excuses Smith’s behavior.
That said, the mega-star is likely going to be taking some time away from the spotlight to reassess a great number of things in his life. Two of those things, if it hasn’t been made clear already, should be the woman he’s married to and the relationship counseling he’s been getting.