Following the viral incident of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, the former made headlines throughout global media. However, it is not the first time the actor has gone viral for slapping someone in public. In 2012, during the Russian premiere of his film Men in Black 3, Smith hit a prankster reporter.
Since the incident at the Oscars, the old video of Smith’s awkward interaction with the prankster has resurfaced online, with several netizens sharing it in reference to the recent event. The prankster, Vitalii Sediuk, also took to his Instagram and joked about Smith’s controversy and the apology.
Similarly, a TMZ video of the actor during King Richard’s promotion has also gone viral. In the second video, Smith (53) is seen demonstrating “fake slaps” in movies to a child.
What happened in Will Smith’s 2012 interaction with a reporter, which ended in a slap from the actor?
In May 2012, Will Smith was at the premiere of his movie Men in Black 3 in Moscow, Russia, when he was enraged by Ukrainian prankster Vitalii Sediuk. At the time, the actor was passing by reporters who were covering the premiere from the other side of the barricade.
The video showcased Sediuk embracing Smith after what seemed like a brief interaction. However, the prankster leaned in and kissed Smith on his cheek multiple times, which fetched a justifiably aggressive reaction from the The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star.
While initially, Will Smith appeared happy to embrace Sediuk, following the latter’s unsolicited kiss, the actor was disgusted and infuriated. In the video, prior to his slap on Sediuk, the Philadelphia native told the pranking reporter, “What the hell is your problem, buddy?”
In 2012, the viral video of Smith and Sediuk’s interaction garnered over 20 million combined views on YouTube in around a decade. Meanwhile, Smith’s Oscars 2022 fiasco has fetched over 73 million views on the platform within two days.
Ukrainian prankster Vitalii Sediuk addresses the Will Smith x Chris Rock slapping incident
After Smith issued a public statement with his apology to the Academy and Chris Rock, Sediuk took to his Instagram to share the post. He shared a screenshot of Smith’s recent statements along with their viral 2012 video and captioned it, “Thank You for apologizing to me, Will.”
Later, Vitalli Sediuk spoke to The Sun after the Oscars incident and stated that Will Smith has a “violent temper.” He also said,
“I just immediately recollected the slapping incident in Moscow. I think the joke was inappropriate when it comes to someone’s health but Will’s reaction is unnecessary and sends the wrong message to comedians - being beaten for a joke.”
While numerous people criticized Smith for his aggression towards Chris Rock over the joke, it must be noted that in the 2012 event, Sediuk seemingly provoked Smith. Sediuk’s statements could be taken with a grain of salt, as the prankster has been arrested multiple times for assaulting celebrities at award ceremonies or premieres.