In an era when most stories fail to remain in the news cycle for more than a few hours before getting swept out by the next scandal, The Slap has had remarkable staying power—so much that you knew exactly which one I was referring to without naming either of the people involved, right? We’ve been apprised of every twist since Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on the stage at the Oscars back in March: Smith apologized. Smith resigned from the Academy. Smith was banned from the Oscars ceremony for 10 years. Four months after the incident, Smith apologized again, this time in a YouTube video, shortly after which a source told People that Rock had “moved on” and didn’t “need to talk” to Smith about it, so: sorry to anyone who hoped the two would take it to the Red Table (though Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife and the subject of the Rock joke that set off Smith on Oscar night, has discussed the incident there).
It’s been a few weeks since any of the principals involved have broken their silence about it, so we were due, and Smith has filled the vacuum: though Smith has only used his Instagram account twice since the Oscars—both times to apologize for slapping Rock—he returned Friday evening with a gag.
Over a video of a juvenile gorilla tentatively poking an adult until the latter gets annoyed enough to chase it, Smith added the caption, “Me trying to get back on social.”
Has Smith served enough time in social media jail to justify an attempted return to the ’gram? I guess we’ll have to wait until either Rock (or a source speaking on his behalf) weighs in. Let’s all stake out Rock’s online presence to see if he makes an official response via Condescending Wonka or “Is He Though?” Thor.