Did ‘Bad Boys 4’ Reference Will Smith's Oscars Slap? 

‘Bad Boys 4’ Seemingly References Will Smith's Oscars Slap

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
Sony Pictures Entertainment/YouTube

Bad Boys 4 may have offered a not-so-subtle reference to that time Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.

The film hit theaters Wednesday, June 5, and features Smith, 55, being repeatedly slapped by Martin Lawrence while experiencing a panic attack, which some have interpreted as a nod to Smith hitting Rock, 59, on stage at the awards show in 2022.

The incident was met with criticism, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer said he would “absolutely” work with Smith on another Bad Boys film during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that same year.

“Will made a mistake, unfortunately,” Bruckheimer, 80, said. “That’s not who he is. He’s a phenomenal actor and there’s always forgiveness in the world.”

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Lawrence, 59, for his part, shared he was “hurt” after watching the slap unfold.

“It’s such an unfortunate situation,” he told“The VC Show with Vince Carter” podcast in December 2022. “It’s like seeing your brothers fighting and you don’t want to see your brothers fighting. Chris Rock didn’t deserve that at all.”

‘Bad Boys 4’ Seemingly References Will Smith's Oscars Slap
Sony Pictures Entertainment/YouTube

Smith offered an apology via Instagram following the slap, calling his actions “unacceptable and inexcusable.” He added, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be.”

Smith attended the premiere of Bad Boys: Ride or Die in Dubai last month alongside his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, their children, Jaden, 25, and Willow, 23, and his eldest son, Trey, 31, whom he shares with ex-wife Sheree Zampino. The pair put on a united front to celebrate the release of the film,  which landed in theaters 29 years after the first Bad Boys was released.

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Pinkett Smith, 52, previously revealed that she and Smith had been separated since 2016. During an October 2023 interview with NBC’s Hoda Kotb last October, she noted that there are “a lot” of reasons why her marriage to Smith “fractured” all those years ago.

“I think by the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying,” she continued. “I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.”

The Girls Trip star explained that the pair kept their separation under wraps because they were “still trying to figure out” their partnership. Despite their split, she added, the actors have no intention of getting divorced.

“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce,” Pinkett Smith said. “We will work through whatever. And I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”

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