Will Smith Sure Seems Poised For A Comeback ... But Did He Ever Really Leave?

Will Smith and J Balvin perform at the Coachella Stage during the 2024 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club.
Will Smith and J Balvin perform at the Coachella Stage during the 2024 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club. Arturo Holmes via Getty Images

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It looks like the Fresh Prince is climbing back into the spotlight!

Welcome to The Culture Catchall, where we discuss this week’s biggest pop culture moments in snackable form. I’m Ty Cole, a HuffPost contributor based in Los Angeles who covers entertainment and lifestyle.

The past couple of years have been quite the roller coaster for Will Smith. Imagine making history on the one hand in 2022 by becoming the fifth Black entertainer to snag the coveted Best Actor award at the Oscars, and on the other hand creating headlines by delivering a slap heard round the world. That’s a bit of a wild ride.

The “Hitch” star only gradually started to make appearances at Hollywood functions and premieres following that big moment — he even starred in the critically panned Apple TV+ film “Emancipation” later that year — but it seems like he’s on the road to redemption. After generating buzz around the trailer release for the fourth installment of the “Bad Boys” franchise, the Grammy winner shocked fans at Coachella when musician J Balvin brought him out to perform the song “Men in Black.” The “King Richard” actor was not only supported by his fans but also his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who was in attendance.

Some folks on social media are dubbing the performance his big comeback moment after the whole debacle.

But honestly, I never felt like he went anywhere. (Just think about it, Pinkett Smith’s memoir “Worthy” had so many of us talking about the couple.)

Of course, the slap incident was jaw-dropping (I mean, I initially thought it was a scripted stunt!) — but the backlash? Well, let’s just say it lasted much longer than it should have.

Remember the nugget of wisdom from Denzel Washington that Smith shared during his Oscar acceptance speech? “At your highest moment, be careful — that’s when the devil comes for you.” Wise words, indeed.

Maybe the devil tried coming for Smith’s career, but did he succeed? Definitely not — at least not to Smith’s biggest fans. Plus, at this point, Hollywood has moved on to whatever the current scandal is now, perhaps just in time for Smith to take on “summertime” once more.

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