‘I Am Legend’ star Will Smith’s comments about Hitler twisted, reported outside of original context
Will Smith learned how quickly the tables can turn as recent comments that he made were totally misreported by the same media that was just praising his work in "I Am Legend." Earl Ofari Hutchinson writes an article which asserts that Minister Louis Farrakhan has made the name Adolf Hitler off limits to all African-Americans, including Will Smith.
Here is a portion of Mr. Hutchinson's article.
- Mega buck actor Will Smith got the shock of his life when he got word that gossip columnists had twisted and mangled his quip about Adolf Hitler. The celebrity gossip buzz was that Smith praised Hitler as a good guy.
- Smith, of course, did no such thing. What he said was that Hitler wasn't inherently obsessed with doing evil; but being the calculating, scheming megalomaniac that he was, he wound up doing the ultimate in evil. Apparently Smith used the Hitler reference to underscore his belief that there's good in everyone. Smith was naive in making reference to Hitler to make any point no matter how well intentioned.
- Though Smith is an immensely popular guy on the screen and with much of the public, he's an African-American. While that in no way earns him the designation as an activist or leader, which he isn't, there is a special sensitivity when references to Hitler slip from the lips of a noted African-American. Former Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan can be thanked for that unhappy burden.
- The media and public's glare stayed hotly focused on black organizations and leaders. They were put on sharp notice that anything that was said that could even be remotely construed as being anti-Semitic would draw instant heat. The paramount litmus test for that was a Hitler reference. No matter what the context, meaning, or the intention of the speaker, the name Hitler was not to be uttered.
- Smith scrambled fast to head even more controversy about the Hitler reference off at the celebrity chit chat pass. He denounced Hitler in the strongest terms, as well as those that deliberately distorted his words. Most will accept Smith's "clarification." After all no one will ever confuse him with Farrakhan.
Will probably should have found some other example, but I would hope this is not blown out of proportion. This is by no means a Mel Gibson situation. I think Mr. Smith is smart enough to see what traps the media is trying to lay for high profile African-Americans like he and his wife.