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Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Miami Premiere

Source: Manny Hernandez / Getty

To the mainstream, the success of Bad Boys: Ride Or Die marks a major comeback for Hollywood heavyweight Will Smith. But let the Black community at large tell it… he never exactly left.

Variety reports that the fourth installment of the franchise, headlined by Smith and Martin Lawrence, surpassed box office expectations, collecting over $104.6 million internationally (on a $100 million budget) in its opening weekend. This marks Smith’s 15th movie to debut at the top of the box office.

For many, this seemed to be proof that the public at large is ready to move on from the infamous 2022 “Oscar Slap” to fellow entertainer Chris Rock that nearly derailed Smith’s career. However, not everybody is ready to move on.

And by “everybody,” we mean Stephen A. Smith. (No relation… CLEARLY.)

Over the weekend (prior to the film’s release), the controversial commentator hopped on his soapbox to proudly proclaim that he’s still on the fence about supporting the movie. He even went as far as to say that the film would struggle because of Smith’s past transgression. Again, we’re talking about something that happened *checks notes* two years ago…

“Could the lack of presales be because people have not forgiven Will Smith for that? That slap right there? How much you want to make it better does. And this is why I wanted to have this discussion with I want to emphasize that right now, as we see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence on the circuit promoting this new film.”

SAS went on with his rant, suggesting that Smith should address “the slap” directly to people like him (which, we assume, is a very, very small minority).

“I’m just saying a lot of folks ain’t get over what happened.” Stephen A. alleged before taking it a step further. “Lots of folks find it hard to just go to the movies to watch you. I’m one of those people and I never missed a Will Smith movie.”

WELP… seems like the majority of folks find it quite easy to support Smith at the box office. Social media are still raving about how good the movie is and is embracing the hip-hop/Hollywood legend en masse.

Better luck next rant, Stephen A.

Check out the reactions below!

Sorry, Stephen A.: Success of “Bad Boys: Ride Or Die” Proves That Black Folks Are NOT Canceling Will Smith  was originally published on