The Ukrainian reporter who, effectively, assaulted Will Smith on the red carpet during the Moscow premiere of Men in Black 3, said sorry on Wednesday. It could be a leap to call what Vitalii Sediuk did “assault.” Although, if Sediuk had grabbed and tried to kiss a woman in the same manner, people probably wouldn’t have spent the week playing semantics.
Following the incident, Smith continued to address the press without punishing subsequent reporters. With little more than a “he’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him,” Smith carried out his promotional duties.
TMZ.com lead with laboured allegations that Smith was a violent homophobe who “attacked” Sediuk. Except no one took the bait, not even their own readers, so they’ve since switched sides and started supporting the actor (judging by the original headlines then the concession on TMZ Live a few days later). It’s obviously not homophobic not to want a stranger in your personal space, that was contrived overreaching by TMZ. And, at this point, there’s universal support for Smith’s actions of pushing and slapping Sediuk.
Smith explained to David Letterman on the Late Show With David Letterman: ”I didn’t beat up a guy! No, no. I was in Moscow and… we’re doing an interview and he says, ‘Man …’ he was a reporter and he says, ‘I’m your biggest fan, can I have a hug, please?’ So I go to give this joker a hug and he tries to lean in to kiss me, you know? …They were like ‘We’re sorry, it’s his shtick,’ and I said ‘That’s why his a** got shtuck.’”
And now the reporter has apologized in a rather protracted interview.
“I do apologise for my behaviour,” Sediuk told Hip Hollywood. “I think it was too much. Will Smith is a person who I deeply respect as an actor. When I met him in Moscow, I wanted to do something to impress him. We have a Slavic tradition. I don’t kiss every man or women when I see them in the street, but that time I decided to do that. Next time, if I meet him, I’ll just shake his hand.”