Will Smith performance in King Richard is winning him awards but those accolades are now being overshadowed by the 2020 entanglement between Jada Pinkett and August Alsina. Will Smith is one of the most influential actors in Hollywood and only getting more beloved. The last couple of years have seen a rebranding and redefining of Will Smith that has somehow made the untouchable action hero feel more grounded and relatable. While he goes into the 2022 award season a favorite to snatch up his first Oscar for his recent role in King Richard, the 2020 “entanglement” fiasco that arguably helped kick off this rebranding seems to continue to pull focus from his work. Some worry that his King Richard awards may get overshadowed by it.
King Richard is the 2021 biopic about the father of Venus Williams and Serena Williams. The tennis star’s dad, Richard Williams, is infamous for his unorthodox parenting and coaching that resulted in two of the most decorated athletes in history. Will stepped into the role full force, gaining some weight and doing extensive research on Richard. The hard work paid off, and already this year, Will snatched a trophy for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role at the SAG Awards earlier this week. The actor also won Golden Globe for Best Actor. If all goes as planned, he is a favorite to win Oscar as well.
The SAG Awards was not without its share of drama, unfortunately. While doing their rounds on the red carpet to discuss King Richrd, Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, stopped to speak with Orange is The New Black’s star, Laverne Cox. An awkward Cox fumbled through her interview before mentioning a Smith family scandal during her goodbye. She told Jada that she was looking forward to more Red Table Talks and more “entanglements.” Will let out an uncomfortable chuckle while Jada quickly touched Laverne’s arm in reassurance and responded, “no more entanglements,” with a laugh.
Laverne was, of course, referring to 2020’s Red Table Talk episode where Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith confronted rumors of infidelity and them opening their marriage. At the time, Will had mostly been silent on their marriage, with Jada receiving the bulk of the heat after confirming that she had an “entanglement” with August Alsina during a break in their marriage. The world seemed to really take Will’s side, considering how distraught he looked in the interview. In the time since, Will has done a full career overhaul and really opened up his personal life to fans like never before.
This has included a tell-all book called Will, where he discusses his own setbacks in their marriage, including being addicted to success, lusting for other women, and fear that he would not always be able to satisfy Jada Pinkett Smith. Will In addition to the book, Will Smith took us on a weight loss journey and documentary on the making of his book over an 8 part series on Youtube titled Best Shape of My Life. Throughout the show, he got even more candid about his shortcomings over the years and really opened up about how he and Jada have revamped their marriage to feel less like a prison and more like a true partnership. He also opened up about his relationship with his own father and how he used that to help him with his portrayal of Richard.
Will Smith has been getting acclaim for his acting for some time now. He was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar in Ali, where he lost to Denzel Washington, and Pursuit of Happyness, where he lost to Forrest Whitaker. Everyone feels like this will be his year to take home the award, with Denzel even singing his praises at the SAG Awards. King Richard is also expected to get a Best Film nomination as well.
Will also helped kick off a reboot of his breakthrough series Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for Peacock, serving as executive producer of the gritty new take. While it seems like the comments won’t be doing much to slow down Will’s steam, fans still demanded an apology from Laverne Cox. They did not get this, as a matter of fact, Laverne Cox claimed her response was not an apology, but more of a love letter to the Smiths.
Cox says she’s heard the criticism by many, including Vivica A. Fox who called her “tacky” on Cocktails with Queens. Laverne says that she took a moment to reflect and feels that she is not above critique before going on to champion Jada and Red Table Talk and defend her intentions as just making light in the moment and being a fan. Hopefully, if Will Smith’s performance in King Richard wins Oscar, the actor’s monumental moment will not be overshadowed by another entanglement comment.