Contributing to the Will Smith discourse, former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air costar Tatyana Ali weighed in on his now infamous Oscars' outburst. Ali starred alongside Smith from 1990-1996 as Ashley Banks.
Ali was just 11 years-old when the show premiered.
The actress and singer acknowledged Smith's wrongdoing, but as his close friend said she knows his heart is in the right place.
"I love [Will Smith] very much."
"[Chris Rock] didn’t deserve to be hit. Period."
"My heart aches for what has happened."
"I don’t know what caused that chaos & confusion, but I do know that Will has a big heart."
"I’ve seen him many times try his best to do what is right."
"I believe in him."
I love #WillSmith very much. @chrisrock didn\u2019t deserve to be hit. Period. My heart aches for what has happened. I don\u2019t know what caused that chaos & confusion, but I do know that Will has a big heart. I\u2019ve seen him many times try his best to do what is right. I believe in him.— Tatyana Ali (@Tatyana Ali) 1648961277
Ali's statement comes after some much-needed digestion of the events that unfolded on the Academy Awards grand stage.
The actress participated in the 2020 HBO Max reunion of Fresh Prince alongside Smith and fellow former cast members. She acknowledged they remain close friends, along with the other members of the show.
Ali has attended many a premiere of the Oscar award winner, and though disappointed, she admits she will continue to stand behind Smith.
She captioned her Instagram post:
"Took me a while to get my thoughts together."
"Right is right, wrong is wrong, and love is love."
You can see her post below:
Many fans agree with Ali's sentiment although some are expecting more hardship for Smith.
Someone posted, defending the actor:
"And yet there will be those who will judge."
"His apology will never be enough & Chris Rock has never taken responsibility 4 his part of the unwritten joke that landed badly (pun intended)."
"He purposely attacked Jada."
"Reconciliation happens when both parties can admit their wrongs."
Still, many are less optimistic for Smith's future.
One person wrote:
"Will Smith’s career is toast."
"His reputation as a beloved actor has been tarnished."
"I can’t see Hollywood letting this go."
"Look at Winona Ryder…a wonderful actress."
"All she did was shoplift some expensive hair accessories and her career was over."
Will Smith\u2019s career is toast. His reputation as a beloved actor has been tarnished. I can\u2019t see Hollywood letting this go. Look at Winona Ryder\u2026a wonderful actress. All she did was shoplift some expensive hair accessories and her career was over.— sweet child O\u2019 mine (@sweet child O\u2019 mine) 1648963552
I agree with you. The situation couldn\u2019t have been predicted and both of them made a great mistake. @chrisrock was just doing the job that he had been hired to do, but with all his experience he should have done his research and shown some sensitivity. He should have stopped.— C.A.P\ud83d\udd96\ud83c\udffb (@C.A.P\ud83d\udd96\ud83c\udffb) 1648991435
Others are over the event, calling it a "nonstory" and wondering why Ali had to say anything at all:
It wasn't murder it was a slap can we please move on now I'm sick to death of this non storyhttps://www.msn.com/en-IE/entertainment/news/tatyana-ali-says-chris-rock-didnt-deserve-to-be-hit-by-will-smith/ar-AAVQt8b?ocid=sapphireappshare\u00a0\u2026— I'mabitch (@I'mabitch) 1649090636
Another person wrote:
"It is ok to say nothing at all regarding this situation."
It is ok to say nothing at all regarding this situation.— AJ (@AJ) 1648962991
At the 94th Academy Awards, the Men in Black actor slapped comedian Chris Rock across the face after he told a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, calling her G.I. Jane in reference to her hair.
Smith's conduct is under investigation by the Academy who will deliver their official consequence in just a few weeks.
Smith has since apologized, calling his actions inexcusable. Smith also resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.