As Hollywood continues to debate over what should or should not be done in response to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars on Sunday, one Hollywood agent says that he’s done working with Smith’s production company, Westbrook.
“I’m not giving Westbrook any projects. And I may even blow up the ones that I have that are currently in negotiations. What’s Westbrook without Will? Nothing,” the agent, who requested anonymity, told TheWrap.
Founded in 2019 by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Westbrook co-produced “King Richard,” which earned Smith an Oscar this past weekend, and several television series, including Netflix’s “Cobra Kai,” Peacock’s “Bel Air,” and his wife’s Facebook Watch talk show, “Red Table Talk.”
Representatives for Smith and Westbrook didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
While it’s unclear how the fallout from “The Slap” will permanently affect Smith’s near and long term plans, the agent compared Smith’s situation to that faced by Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise after their reputations were damaged by their own very public outbursts.
“I think he’s not setting up many — if any — projects until the fall. And he just cost himself a premium. His brand is permanently tarnished in regards to (four-quadrant films, which appeal to all audiences),” the agent said. “This just became his Tom Cruise/Mel Gibson moment, where he’s always going to be a star, but he just went from A+ to A and gave people like Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Tom Holland a clearer lane.”
Smith formally apologized to Chris Rock on Monday, saying in a statement posted to social media that “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. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
However, that apology came nearly 24 hours after the Oscars when during his acceptance speech for Best Actor, Smith didn’t actually apologize to Rock even as he apologized to the Academy. About that, the agent tells TheWrap it reflected poorly not just on Smith, but on Oscars executive producer Will Packer and the Academy too.
“Look, if my kids did this in school, they’d be suspended. If I did this at an event, I’d be escorted out, if not arrested — regardless if they press charges,” he said.
“[Smith] got treated like a god, and he’s not,” the agent continued. “None of these people are. Will Packer handled [it] wrong, the Academy didn’t do s—, and the speech was horrific to watch. Plus, [Smith] didn’t even apologize to Chris Rock. And then partied all night.”
The agent’s comments are just a part of the discussion around the incident’s repercussions on Smith’s career. Read more about that here.