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Was Will Smith’s Response to Male Kiss Homophobic? (Video)

Was Will Smith’s Response to Male Kiss Homophobic? (Video)

At the Russian premiere of “Men in Black III” in Moscow, actor Will Smith found himself the recipient of some unexpected attention. A Ukranian reporter, posing as a fan, walked up to Smith, hugged him, and kissed him on the cheeks. When he tried to kiss Smith on the lips, apparently he crossed a line, because Smith pushed him back and slapped him on the face, asking “What the hell is your problem, buddy?” A few seconds later, he explained to onlookers nearby, “He tried to kiss me on my mouth.” He added, “This joker, he’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him.” Here’s the video:

The reporter, Vitalii Sediuk, is apparently known for playing pranks on celebrities, including kissing his interview subjects.

Some online have criticized Smith’s response to the incident as homophobic, despite the fact that Smith has recently come out publicly in support of gay marriage. On Twitter, the incident provoked some critical statements, including:

“Looks like the homophobe inside came out of Will Smith for a sec.”

“Will Smith may have come out in support of gay marriage but his reaction today was really homophobic.”

“The whole Will Smith slapping event was a little homophobic, macho & weird.”

“Will Smith, we don’t need your ‘trendy’ support of same sex marriage if you’re faking it.”

“Will Smith slapped a man because he wanted to kiss him … EXCELLENT! YOU ARE THE KING OF THE ANTI-GAY!”

Of course, there are plenty of others who are puzzled by this response, wondering if “Now you have to kiss men to prove you aren’t anti-gay?” And I agree that responding poorly to a member of the same sex invading your physical space isn’t necessarily homophobic – and if Smith had pushed away a strange woman trying to kiss him, that wouldn’t be proof that he was a misogynist. Uninvited physical affection shouldn’t be seen as anything other than sexual harassment (or, if you’re being less charitable, sexual assault). I have a hard time feeling sympathy for anyone who tries to pull this kind of stunt as someone who’s been on the receiving end of similar, albeit lower-profile, behavior.

It’s probably true Smith might not have reacted so badly to a female reporter trying to kiss him, and there’s room for debate about whether shoving and slapping Sediuk was out of line. But it’s disingenuous to argue that it’s homophobic for someone to get upset about being kissed on the mouth by random stranger. No matter the gender of the participants, it’s aggressive and inappropriate behavior.

What do Care2 readers think after seeing the video? Was Smith overreacting? Or was his response appropriate?

Related Stories:
Study: Homophobia Masks Gay Feelings
Oxford To Host Homophobic Group; Graduate Returns Degree
A(nother) day in the life of homophobic Russia

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Photo credit: YouTube screen capture

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695 comments

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1:40PM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

Unwanted approaches by whomever it is will get that person a black eye. I don't care the gender: I don't allow anyone kissing me or even hugging me if that's someone I don't know. I keep my private sphere private.

1:30AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

The guy surprised him. He IS lucky he didn't get punched, and that would go if you tried to kiss an openly gay actor for that matter. Unwanted physical contact, or affection, as the article puts it, is just that-unwanted. The source, or the recipient's gender or sexual orientation or any other factor should not be a matter of discussion. This guy pushed into another HUMAN BEING'S personal space in an unwanted and unwarranted manner, and got a smack on the face for it. End of story.

8:23PM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Sorry, for some reason the site has posted my comment a few times even though i only clicked it once. Not sure how to delete them either. Sorry about that. But you get the idea what i was saying in my comments. :-)

8:14PM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Why does every little thing have to be made into such a big thing now.
I'm 17, and i am Gay, honestly, if a woman i didn't know tried to kiss me on the lips like this, i wouldn't let her, i certainly wouldn't slap her, but i would be very uncomfortable with it, the same as if it was a guy i didn't know trying to kiss me on the lips, it's just a very odd thing to do, and a very uncomfortable thing to do.
Some people probably would be ok with this kind of thing, some people are too nice to say anything, some people, like myself, just find it uncomfortable
Hey, he was happy to hug that man. My dad is 52, i have NEVER seen him hug anyone, if he had to hug another guy....i honestly think his head would explode.
To me it looked like the guy was trying to cover his whole face in kisses, something you would do with your partner, so yeah, i can see why he pushed him away, he probably thought he was going to have that guys tongue down his throat in a few seconds.
Just imagine if Will was going somewhere where they greet by kissing on the cheek, do you honestly think he would spend the whole time pushing people and slapping them? No, because he would understand this is how they greet, and they are just being friendly. If my dad went to France he would probably get sent back for trying to beat every french man he met.
It was all just very random, sudden and a bit saucy, add to that the fact he was in front of a load of people, i don't blame him for acting this way.
Can't w

8:14PM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Why does every little thing have to be made into such a big thing now.
I'm 17, and i am Gay, honestly, if a woman i didn't know tried to kiss me on the lips like this, i wouldn't let her, i certainly wouldn't slap her, but i would be very uncomfortable with it, the same as if it was a guy i didn't know trying to kiss me on the lips, it's just a very odd thing to do, and a very uncomfortable thing to do.
Some people probably would be ok with this kind of thing, some people are too nice to say anything, some people, like myself, just find it uncomfortable
Hey, he was happy to hug that man. My dad is 52, i have NEVER seen him hug anyone, if he had to hug another guy....i honestly think his head would explode.
To me it looked like the guy was trying to cover his whole face in kisses, something you would do with your partner, so yeah, i can see why he pushed him away, he probably thought he was going to have that guys tongue down his throat in a few seconds.
Just imagine if Will was going somewhere where they greet by kissing on the cheek, do you honestly think he would spend the whole time pushing people and slapping them? No, because he would understand this is how they greet, and they are just being friendly. If my dad went to France he would probably get sent back for trying to beat every french man he met.
It was all just very random, sudden and a bit saucy, add to that the fact he was in front of a load of people, i don't blame him for acting this way.
Can't w

8:14PM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Why does every little thing have to be made into such a big thing now.
I'm 17, and i am Gay, honestly, if a woman i didn't know tried to kiss me on the lips like this, i wouldn't let her, i certainly wouldn't slap her, but i would be very uncomfortable with it, the same as if it was a guy i didn't know trying to kiss me on the lips, it's just a very odd thing to do, and a very uncomfortable thing to do.
Some people probably would be ok with this kind of thing, some people are too nice to say anything, some people, like myself, just find it uncomfortable
Hey, he was happy to hug that man. My dad is 52, i have NEVER seen him hug anyone, if he had to hug another guy....i honestly think his head would explode.
To me it looked like the guy was trying to cover his whole face in kisses, something you would do with your partner, so yeah, i can see why he pushed him away, he probably thought he was going to have that guys tongue down his throat in a few seconds.
Just imagine if Will was going somewhere where they greet by kissing on the cheek, do you honestly think he would spend the whole time pushing people and slapping them? No, because he would understand this is how they greet, and they are just being friendly. If my dad went to France he would probably get sent back for trying to beat every french man he met.
It was all just very random, sudden and a bit saucy, add to that the fact he was in front of a load of people, i don't blame him for acting this way.
Can't w

8:13PM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Why does every little thing have to be made into such a big thing now.
I'm 17, and i am Gay, honestly, if a woman i didn't know tried to kiss me on the lips like this, i wouldn't let her, i certainly wouldn't slap her, but i would be very uncomfortable with it, the same as if it was a guy i didn't know trying to kiss me on the lips, it's just a very odd thing to do, and a very uncomfortable thing to do.
Some people probably would be ok with this kind of thing, some people are too nice to say anything, some people, like myself, just find it uncomfortable
Hey, he was happy to hug that man. My dad is 52, i have NEVER seen him hug anyone, if he had to hug another guy....i honestly think his head would explode.
To me it looked like the guy was trying to cover his whole face in kisses, something you would do with your partner, so yeah, i can see why he pushed him away, he probably thought he was going to have that guys tongue down his throat in a few seconds.
Just imagine if Will was going somewhere where they greet by kissing on the cheek, do you honestly think he would spend the whole time pushing people and slapping them? No, because he would understand this is how they greet, and they are just being friendly. If my dad went to France he would probably get sent back for trying to beat every french man he met.
It was all just very random, sudden and a bit saucy, add to that the fact he was in front of a load of people, i don't blame him for acting this way.
Can't w

10:27PM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

The Laws need to be intervened to remove the present day, "grey area" that exists. It is a form of Assault & similar in content to Sexist Laws except it's morphed into a same-sex offence. There are legally available places for 'same-sex' kissing where you can go & people who you can pay for the deed. So don't try & make non-consentual kissing a New World Order/Social Conditioning or a Mandate, or it could lead to non-consentual 'broken nose for dessert'.

2:17PM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

wow that's really retarted. who even cares anyway? who cares what Will Smith is doing or what he thinks or how he reacts to things? I certainly don't. he's a great actor, and I like to watch him in movies, but geez you've gotta be a psycho to care about every little thing a celebrity does. plus if someone, man or woman, tried to kiss me on the lips I'd be acting the same dang way!! there's a little thing called personal space.

11:39PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Wll Smith is a well-known homophobe. Many years ago--in his first major movie acting role--in the film, "Six Degrees of Separation," he defied the director's instruction to kiss his male co-star.

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