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Poll: Support for Will Smith Eroded Fast in Days Following Oscars Slap

The Yahoo News/YouGov poll showed Smith’s ”favorable“ rating took a dive between the Oscars and April 4

The more people thought, read, tweeted and talked about The Slap in the days after the Oscars, the less likely they were to view Will Smith favorably, according to a new poll.

Published Friday, the Yahoo News/YouGov found that 47% of respondents interviewed from March 27 to April 4 had an “unfavorable” view of the “King Richard” star and Best Actor winner. “That’s up from 37% in a similar poll conducted solely on March 28, the day after the Oscars,” Yahoo reported.

With the barrage of reactions and coverage breaking mostly bad for Smith (sorry Tiffany Haddish, you’re an outlier here), that 10-point dip should come as no surprise. In the aftermath of the March 27 ceremony, nearly everyone involved — and hundreds more who were not — expressed some form of contempt for Smith’s unscheduled visit to the Oscars stage, where he smacked Chris Rock for a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.

Smith has apologized, and preemptively resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ahead of the body’s decision on how to discipline the Best Actor winner. That decision was expected Friday.

But in terms of public perception, the punishment has been meted.

The Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that 67% of people believe Smith’s behavior was flat wrong; 16% believe he was in the right, with 17% not sure. However, half of respondents said Smith should keep his trophy — no one has ever had one taken away in Oscars history — with only 28% saying it should be taken away (and 22% unsure).

Rock came out of the fracas in better shape: 55% of those polled rated him highly favorably.

The poll was taken from a demographically representative sample of 1,618 adults in the U.S., with a 2.7% margin for error, according to Yahoo News.

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