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Bel-Air star Jabari Banks supports mentor Will Smith following Oscars slap

The actor appeared on ITV's Good Morning Britain


will jabari© Photo: Getty Images
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
July 11, 2022
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Bel-Air star Jabari Banks has revealed his reaction to his "mentor" Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards back in March.

MORE: Will Smith features in video as son Jaden celebrates his birthday

The 23-year-old, who stars in the remake of Will's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday morning. 

WATCH: Will Smith assaults Chris Rock at 2022 Oscars

When asked by host Susanna Reid if he had spoken to Will since the shocking moment, he said: "I was and I keep my nose out of it. My name is Bennett and I ain't in it.

"But Will is also a great guy and I love what he stands for and what he's been to our community and what he means to me as an actor, an artist and an activist. Will's been a great mentor to me."

Susanna went on to recall the words of Hollywood icon Denzel Washington, who told Will following the slap: "At your highest moment be careful, that's when the devil comes for you."

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MORE: Where is Will Smith? - Three months on from Chris Rock Oscars slap

She said: "It's all about just rooting yourself isn't it?'

fresh prince reboot jabari

Jabari stars in the Fresh Prince reboot

Jabari responded: "Yeah, staying grounded and keeping the people around you that reassure you and make you feel safe."

Back in March, Will slapped Chris across the face after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith's hair loss. The 50-year-old actress suffers from alopecia and appeared to be less than impressed by the gag.

Following Will's Best Actor win for his role in King Richard, the Academy went on to release a statement on the incident. It said: "We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast."

will smith chris rock oscars slap© Photo: Getty Images

Will has been banned from the Oscars for ten years

A number of the 53-year-old's projects have been halted since the shocking moment. Sony has paused development on Bad Boys 4, Netflix has halted production on thriller movie, Fast and Loose, and Apple TV+ has reportedly moved the release date for their film, Emancipation, to 2023.

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