Tatyana Ali Defends Will Smith Amidst Assault Controversy
Former ‘The Fresh Prince of Rap’ actress Tatyana Ali has come to the defense of her former co-star Will Smith, following his recent assault controversy at the 2022 Academy Awards.
The incident in question involved Will allegedly punching comedian Chris Rock in the face after he made a joke about Will’s wife Jada. Following the incident, Will publicly apologized to Chris on Instagram, and in a subsequent video later in the year.
Despite Will’s apologies, Chris’s brother and fellow comedian Tony Rock has claimed that Will never personally approached Chris to apologize. However, Will has maintained that he did reach out to Chris but that the comedian was not ready to talk.
Speaking to Page Six at the Variety’s Power of Women Luncheon in New York, Tatyana refused to comment directly on the controversy, but did praise Will as a “beautiful person who’s done a lot of good.”
Tatyana, who played Will’s onscreen cousin Ashley Banks on ‘The Fresh Prince of Rap’ from 1990 to 1996, also reflected on her own experiences as a child star.
“My family doesn’t care if I’m in entertainment or if I’m a teacher,” she said. “They worry about me. I have friends who didn’t do very well, and I think it has to do with when you were a kid. Yes, you are working, but you are still a child and you need someone to protect you and tell you no. My parents weren’t playing that at all. I had chores like my sisters. I had to go to college.”
As for the ongoing controversy surrounding Will and Chris, it’s unclear if the two have since made amends. Regardless, Tatyana Ali’s words serve as a reminder to always stand up for those you care about, even in the face of controversy.