• Amy Laskowski

    Senior Writer Twitter Profile

    Photo of Amy Laskowski. A white woman with long brown hair pulled into a half up, half down style and wearing a burgundy top, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Amy Laskowski is a senior writer at Boston University. She is always hunting for interesting, quirky stories around BU and helps manage and edit the work of BU Today’s interns. She did her undergrad at Syracuse University and earned a master’s in journalism at the College of Communication in 2015. Profile

Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 13 comments on A PR Crisis: How to Manage Will Smith’s Oscars Slap

  1. Had he been an usher or an audience member not recognizable to the general public, he would have been escorted out immediately. Probably into the custody of the police. It was a crime. Maybe not a major crime, but a crime. He gets to assault someone and then be handed an award instead of being booted out because he is rich and famous.

    I looked for an article about what his PR team might do. Whatever they do, he has lost my respect forever. This was not some simple mistake. He assaulted someone. Over a joke that was insensitive. That is astoundingly terrible behavior. And this apparently isn’t the first time. I won’t be watching his performances and not because this was unforgivable. Rather because all I will see is an entitled guy who thinks he can do as he pleases and all will be okay later.

    1. These PR apologies have no force but words published from a team of people a corporation or rich person can hire, and with little meaning.

      The whole premise of this article is in poor taste and exactly what so many students become frustrated about – “let’s use PR to excuse behaviors of corporations and the rich.” Or, one of Boston University’s deans or executives did something inappropriate, let’s have some things ready for our corporate response.

      Justifying violence like this, without consequences, is the problem. When does it become ok for a student to slap a teacher when they present an opinion they don’t agree with? Or how about slapping another student? Then, (incoming sarcasm alert) let’s issue an apology from our PR team that sounds like we have all the right words and promise to be polite in the future. Your public image will be saved for just a few dollars towards your high-end PR firm.

      No, charge the actor with assault. Take away the award. Ban them from the premises for future events. Actions will speak louder than these corporate PR words.

      1. I very much agree that PR apologies are worthless. They have nothing to do with anything other than trying to repair damage done to the money machine.

        I was merely curious as to what a PR plan might be.

        I don’t care what happens to his career. As you point out, he assaulted someone. He should be charged with the crime he committed. Were he not rich and famous he would have very likely been treated very differently last night. And he should have been.

  2. What if Wanda Sykes said the same joke and was assaulted by Will — would the narrative be different? People should be just as offended if a man was assaulted. The fact that people in the audience weren’t outraged just confirms that Hollywood is still living in their own elitist bubble. I bet if a parent at a school board meeting did the same thing for the same reason, they would have spent the night in jail. He got a standing ovation and went out partying.

  3. While Will Smith’s act is disgraceful, and the result of a privilege, power and entitlement, to me, it is unsurprising that he thought it’s okay to do this for another reason. Our culture and institutions now preach an extreme ideology that speech is violence, that the wrong words can put people in mortal danger, that it is ONLY the listener’s subjective perception of how offensive the words are that entitle them to label a speaker a good or evil. A speaker can VICTIMIZE listeners if they say the “wrong thing”, you see. This ideology totally rejects the listener’s responsibility in all this, for instance to a) interpret in a charitable way b) not to be overly sensitive, c) avoid hysterical over reaction, d) muster up the wisdom to see that words while having the power to offend are most often NOT the same as physical harm,

    But unfortunately these ideas have now gone mainstream and permeate almost every facet of public life. No matter how untethered to reality this belief system is, it can explain a lot about how a rich, privileged, mega-star like Smith can feel victimized by words and therefore think it’s okay to smack someone in the face on live TV in front millions. Notice he tearfully apologized to everyone EXCEPT to the one person who truly deserved it, Chris Rock. It is justified to do this because Rock’s words caused extreme emotional pain you see. Perhaps if Rock said something meaner it would justify using a closed fist in the face?

    This is what the ideology looks like in practice.

  4. He slapped Chris Rock & later gave a speech to be the “vessel for love”. To which the audience gave a standing ovation. SO MUCH IRONY HERE.

    Will wouldn’t have done it to someone larger than himself

    Chris Rock a legend for taking one on the chin like a champ

  5. Smith’s actions were blatant thuggery, illegal and he should be held responsible for his actions.
    1. Chris Rock should press charges, though this may hurt his career in movies as producers, Smith’s supporters and Smith himself may blackball him. But to stand up for victims of abuse and not condoning his own mistreatment by silence he can be a role-model for others dealing with abuse.
    2. The Academy should expel Smith, perhaps sue him for damages (to the show, the reputation of the Academy, etc) and demand he return his Oscar. Short of that, the Academy should require formal apology to Chris Rock the Oscar watching public, and require that Smith undergo anger management therapy.
    3. The LA District Attorney should investigate and criminally charge Smith with assault, disorderly conduct and for his screamed obscenities that were broadcast worldwide (the FCC should take some measures here as well).
    I would think producers, fellow actors, film crews and investors would be reticent to work with Will Smith in the future seeing how unpredictable and violent he can be. It is up to Smith to show he is remorseful for what he did and to seek the help he needs and to try to save his reputation. Unfortunately, it may be too late.

    1. I don’t think his Oscar should be recalled. He earned the Oscar for his performance and that stands. A more fitting punishment, IMO, is being removed as a member of the Academy. Certainly, he should not be invited to present any awards next year, as is customary for award winners.

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *