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Will Smith Must Still ‘Rebuild Trust’ with Public After Chris Rock Apology: Crisis PR Expert

Will Smith could have an extended street forward by way of rehabilitating his picture.

In a nearly-six minute video posted on-line July 29, the King Richard star, 53, publicly apologized to Chris Rock, 57, and expressed regret for slapping him on stage on the Oscars in March. But disaster administration PR knowledgeable Gary Rosen says the actor cannot count on Hollywood to roll out the crimson carpet for his return simply but.

The leisure business “is very forgiving. Everybody gets a comeback or at least a try at a comeback,” says Rosen. “But this is not going to happen overnight. He needs to rebuild trust. I don’t think that’s happened yet.”

Though Rosen says the video apology was a step in the suitable path, he thinks the mea culpa was too “orchestrated,” he continues. “When you don’t have someone interviewing you and there’s no give and take, it comes across as less authentic.”

Agreeing to a sit-down has its dangers, too. “I always think of Prince Andrew, which was the ultimate train wreck,” Rosen says of the scandal-plagued royal’s widely-panned 2019 BBC interview about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the late billionaire accused of sexual assault.

Rosen thinks Smith could have been testing the waters to gauge public response to the apology earlier than making any additional strikes: “My feeling is this was…[the] strategy: ‘Let’s do this. Let’s see how it plays. Let’s take a beat and we’ll go from there.'”

So far, responses have been combined. Fans and superstar buddies of Smith’s have praised the Ali actor on his social media—Jamie Foxx, for one, wrote, “your true fans have never stopped loving you!”—whereas others discovered Smith’s video grating. “I’m so sick of Will Smith being given air time. He assaulted another,” fumed one Twitter person.

RELATED: Will Smith Makes Plea to Fans After Chris Rock Slap: “I Promise We’ll Be Able to Be Friends Again”

94th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

94th Annual Academy Awards – Arrivals

David Livingston/Getty

One one that hasn’t straight weighed in: Rock himself. Though the comic has joked in regards to the controversy in his stand-up reveals not too long ago, he has not addressed whether or not or not he accepts the apology. “Until that happens, most people will likely raise their eyebrows when Will Smith’s name is mentioned,” says Jeff Bock, a senior media analyst at Exhibitor Relations Company.

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Will Smith

Will Smith

Pablo Cuadra/WireImage

Like Rosen, he believes Smith’s future in Hollywood is a giant query mark. “As far as getting back into the swing of things for Smith, we won’t really know how the public will react until he releases something new,” he continues. Some of Smith’s initiatives have been reportedly delayed within the wake of the slap.

As PEOPLE beforehand reported, Smith is keen to place the incident previously. He has been in remedy and wished to work on himself earlier than talking out, in accordance with a supply: “He’s deeply remorseful, he is still doing a lot of work and he’s also human and made a mistake.”

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