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There’s no question that some people think Will Smith should be canceled without the chance for an appeal after he slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars. But what does his Bad Boys co-star Martin Lawrence think, especially after Bad Boys 4 was reportedly put on hold in response to the backlash? Read on to find out.

(l-r) Will Smith and Martin Lawrence on set of 'Un Nuevo Dia' during Miami Press Day for their upcoming film 'Bad Boys For LIfe'
(l-r) Will Smith and Martin Lawrence | Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Entertainment

Why ‘Bad Boys’ was pivotal for Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as sitcom stars

In an interview with Ebony magazine, Lawrence broke down how he and Smith joining up for Bad Boys was a significant moment for each of them in their careers. But it meant something more.

“It was big,” he explained. “For us to come together and prove that we can deliver, and we can pull people into the box office — that two Black stars, two sitcom stars, could make money at the box office [was huge].”

Of course, the pivot from television to movies was also a critical point in Lawrence’s life. “I didn’t go to college, so I felt TV was my college years,” he shared. “I felt with movies, I had graduated; it was just different.”

Martin Lawrence on ‘Bad Boys 4’: ‘at least’ 1 more with Will Smith

In case you missed it, Smith walked on stage at the Oscars in 2022 and slapped Rock for a joke he made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia. A source said plans for Bad Boys 4 paused following the fallout from the internet-breaking moment (per The Hollywood Reporter).

After the incident, Smith resigned from his Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science membership. He released an apologetic statement. “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason,” he offered.

According to Lawrence, Smith’s slap at the 2022 Academy Awards won’t cancel the Bad Boys franchise, despite the continued hiatus. “We got one more at least,” he shared.


The Smith Family’s Biggest Embarrassment Might Not Be Will Smith’s Slap or Jada Pinkett Smith’s TMI Confessions

How Martin Lawrence learned ‘we fall down, but we get back up again’

In 1996, Lawrence was found wandering through a crowded area and ran into traffic, disoriented and carrying a loaded weapon. He was hospitalized for exhaustion and dehydration, according to his representative.

After a few more experiences with the law, Lawrence collapsed from heat exhaustion while jogging. He said it was a wake-up call from a higher power.

“I felt like, in the coma, God laid me down and woke me up to be able to see a lot more clearer, and it’s humbled me a great deal, you know?” he said (per ABC News). 

But the press wasn’t exactly kind to Lawrence as he came to that moment. “They made a lot of things up to sell a better story,” he said and added, “You don’t know what that’s like until you’ve been through it.”

“One thing I truly learned. We fall down, but we get back up again,” he concluded.