Did Will Smith make fun of someone with Alopecia in 1991?

Soon after videos circulated of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards, footage resurfaced of Will making fun of a bald man on a talk show.

Will Smith took part in one of the most memorable moments on television earlier this week when he slapped comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from Alopecia.

Of course, it wasn’t long after the infamous slap that the internet stumbled upon a clip of Will on The Arsenio Hall Show making fun of the bassist of The Posse, John B. Williams for being bald.

Will Smith The Arsenio Hall Show
Credit: The Arsenio Hall Show

Rumours immediately spread that Williams also suffered from Alopecia, making out that Will was swimming in hypocrisy, but these claims have not been confirmed.

In the talk show clip in question, Will says: “Like, he has a rule – the bass player? He’s got a rule: He’s gotta wax his head every day. That’s a rule.” 

After the audience pulls back a little Will quickly says: “Ah these are jokes, come on.”

Just like Chris Rock, Will was well within his rights to make a joke while performing as a comedian, it’s kind of in the job description. 

Although the claims that Williams, like Jada, has Alopecia cannot be confirmed, the slap has caused an onslaught of controversy. Judd Apatow, Kathy Griffin and even the Academy itself have condemned Will’s actions.

Meanwhile, Will has taken to Instagram to formally apologise for his actions, making a point to publicly reconcile with Chris Rock and the Academy.


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A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith)

Will ended his statement by saying: I am a work in progress.”

While assault is literally never cool, to put it lightly, it’s great to see a little personal growth.