After this week’s firestorm over Will Smith’s remarks on Hitler, which he explains were taken out of context, the Anti-Defamation League has welcomed and accepted his clarifying statement.
The I Am Legend star was quoted in the Daily Record, a Scottish newspaper as saying, “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘Let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good.'”
What got left out in the firestorm was that the quote was used as an example to back up the journalist’s hypothesis that, “Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good,” and it was not an assessment by Smith that Hitler was a good person, as many Web sites alleged.
On Monday, Smith issued a statement regarding the misrepresentation of his remarks: “It is an awful and disgusting lie. It speaks to the dangerous power of an ignorant person with a pen. I am incensed and infuriated to have to respond to such ludicrous misinterpretation.”
He goes on to state, “Adolf Hitler was a vile, heinous, vicious killer responsible for one of the greatest acts of evil committed on this planet.”
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, praised Smith for taking “immediate steps to clarify his words and unequivocally condemn Hitler as an evil person. We would have expected no less from a celebrity of his standing in the strata of Hollywood stardom.
“If anything, this episode serves as a reminder of the power of words, and how words can be twisted by those with hate and bigotry in their hearts to suit their own world view. This is why all celebrities bear a special responsibility to weigh their words carefully, and an obligation to speak out against racism and bigotry whenever even a whiff of it appears, as Will Smith has done in this instance.”