Jabari Banks revealed that he has “mixed feelings” about the “slap heard around the world” from Will Smith to Chris Rock in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife at the The 4th Annual Griot Gala Oscars After Party (presented by Beam Suntory/Courvoisier) on Sunday March 27. The Bel-Air star admitted that he felt that Will shouldn’t have acted violently, but he also understood that he was sticking up for Jada Pinkett Smith.
Jabari, who plays Will in the Fresh Prince reboot, admitted that ultimately Will was keeping his promise to defend his wife. “I have mixed feelings about it. The number one rule in Hollywood is that women and children you stay clear of. He took a vow and that was to stand up for his Jada and that is what he did,” he told HL. “For better or for worse, he stood up from Jada.”
Even though Will “stood up” for Jada, the Bel-Air actor explained that slapping him wasn’t the best solution to the problem. “Violence is never the answer for anything and for all the kids in the world I encourage them not to do something like that. You can get into a lot of trouble. As far as where it came from, it came from a Godly place. He is like that is my wife,” he said.
Will hitting Chris was one of the most talked about moments of the night! After hitting the comic, Will won the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard, and he did express some regret in his acceptance speech. “I want to apologize to the academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he said. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things.” Chris also declined to file a police report or press charges for the incident.
Since the incident, tons of stars have voiced their opinions on whether Will was justified or not. Some celebrities like Nicki Minaj and 50 Cent sided with the I Am Legend actor, with Nicki saying that he’d witnessed Jada struggle with alopecia firsthand saying that Will was “seeing her pain.” Still others felt that the actor was out of line, like The View host Sunny Hostin, who said that he should apologize to Chris Rock directly.