Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Hitler Meant Well: Will Smith Speaks and We Wish He Didn’t

iamlegend.jpgOy vey. Every time actors speak I find myself holding my breath and hoping that what they’ll say will resemble one of the moving, well-written speeches that they deliver during the roles they’ve taken on in their lifetime. As it turns out, those speeches are crafted by experienced people (I believe they’re called “writers,” or at least they are when they’re not striking) who know how to turn a phrase, and directed by other experienced people who are called “directors.” Or sometimes, those emotional moments are brokered by a James Lipton or Barbara Walters or Oprah or Ellen, to get actors to discover the wonderful inner workings of their own minds, to entertaining effect for the audience. Often, these celebrities become spokespeople for wonderful philanthropic causes that help people all over the world, and they should be praised for devoting part of a significant fortune and pulpit to good works.
But woe, alas and alack, sometimes it might have been better if the celebrity had said nothing at all. For instance, a recent combination of Will Smith+Scotland=a possible boycott of “I Am Legend,” when the former fresh prince made the following opinion known.


Smith says he doesn’t believe, quote, “Hitler didn’t wake up going, “let me do the most evil thing I can do today,” adding that Hitler was trying to do what he thought was good, though his mind used “a twisted, backward logic.”

Do I believe that Will Smith is an anti-Semite? No. Will I never look at his movies the same way again, like what happened in the wake of Mel Gibson’s trip to Crazytown? No. Will I insist, as the local JDL is, that Hollywood “shun any future projects involving Smith.” Clearly not. But do I find it surprising that Smith would invoke Hitler, the most hated, and most acknowledgedly-evil human to have walked the planet (at least in recent memory) through a haze of attempted comprehension? Uh-huh.
The report continues that “Smith himself is angry at the way critics have interpreted his words” [I bet he is] “saying there’s no way they should be read to imply that he believes Hitler was anything but “a vile, heinous vicious killer.”
Good. We all agree. Let’s move on. And please, celebrities…whether you yell at Matt Lauer for the evils of meds-prescribing psychologists or try to understand Hitlerian logic, even as an intellectual exercise that challenges the concepts of good and evil, I implore you: think before you speak.

  • peacejunky

    I can’t believe anyone is even talking about this. His point was that most people believe what they are doing is right. The problem here was not what WS said, but the fact that the newspaper writer prefaced the statement with, “He believes most people are good.” What makes evil so devastating is that it disguises itself as something “right” or “good.” And Will made that point.
    I find it interesting that Foxman said both, “celebrities bear a special responsibility to weigh their words carefully” AND “[words] can be twisted by those with hate and bigotry in their hearts.” He should have stuck with the second statement. The problem here was not bigoted words but hyper-sensitive ears.


    Each of us has the ability to choose how we view the world and the people within it – to have our own “belief system.” One such belief system, and one that I chose, is that every person is doing the very best they can considering their nature and their nurture – how they were brought up and who and what influenced them. I have tested my belief system by examining the life of the most evil person I could think of – and the person I chose was also Adolph Hitler – the same as Will Smith. Like Will Smith, I could see how the monstous evil that Hitler perpetrated on humanity was, in Hitler’s mind, the right and good thing to do. In my mind, as I believe what was in Will Smith’s mind, Hitler was an evil monster that should have been stopped in the early 1930s before he was able to bring about the mass murder of tens of millions of people and the destruction of much of Germany and parts of Europe.
    The purpose of such a “belief system” is to choose to see the good and the best in those we come in contact with. In so doing, I believe Will Smith brings out the best in others.
    Of course there are exceptions to this – and any other belief system. I beleve the system does not work for the mentally and chemically impalanced persons – who are simply not able to cope, think or function in “normal” ways.
    There seems to be some evidence that Hitler was chemically or psychologically imbalanced.

  • bonniejocklennon

    I am amazed that so many people seems to infer that Hitler acted singlehandidly; he did not any many people did try to stop him; many germans tried to stop him and were disposed; the Hitler problem is very complex.

  • Steven Wise Sr.

    I dont think WS did anything wrong, that he should be vilified for giving his own honest opinion. He didn’t say Hitler was a good man.We all know what Hitler was, including WS and it seems to me that he is just trying to say his glass is half full and not half empty.
    I think he understands as I do that you can’t live your life with hate in your heart, even for the likes of A.Hitler.
    It’s been my experience that most of the people you hate don’t know it! and the one’s that do don’t give a damm! I’m sure WS did’t wish to offend anyone, and he has the wright to feel any way he want’s. Leave this good man alone!
    Thank you,
    Mr.S.Wise Sr.

  • Cindy C. Brown

    Hilter was,to us, a very deranged individual. But, with very few exceptions, the Catholic Church and the Pope of that time, did NOTHING to stop him. In fact, the church believed that the Jews were getting what was coming to them because they were “Christ Killers” (even though Christ died for one and all, no matter WHAT their religious beliefs were, if any)And, though he approved heartily of it, Hitler didn’t think up what became know as “the final solution”, it was, I believe, Gobbles that thought it up.

  • Gail

    I think that WS is entitled to his opinion. I don’t think what he said was meant the way that the press put it. Most responsible celebrities are careful of what they say, and how they say it. But the press doesn’t care how it is said, or why the celeb. said it…. they just jump on something they know, or think they know, will cause the most damage… and the most press.
    Let’s face it folks. Will is just a man, when all is said and done, and he has a right to his opinion. I am sure that he doesn’t think that Hitler was a great guy, or even a good guy…. I take it that he meant that even when men do evil things, they, in their own sick mind, think that what they are doing is for the betterment of society…. That is how twisted they are.
    Let’s give the man a break, and get on with our lives. What a star thinks or says should have no more power,than what your mailman thinks, or your grocer…. He is, after all, just a man! We put too much stock in what others think, we should work on our own opinions… Take the board out of our own eye, and not worry about the speck in another’s.

  • Scorpio

    I must admit that I agree w/WS and feel that for those who think that he is being an anti-Semite, they should first try to understand where he is coming from. As stated before, we all know what kind of man Hitler was along w/the errors made by Hitler and everyone who stood by and did nothing. As well, to take it a step further, the errors of what is still going on today in Darfur and other places around the globe. Whether some believe that people are evil or inherently good is up to an individual and how s/he chooses to view the world and that is respected, however what we should all try to get from WS’s statement is that he is simply trying to put some logic to the grotesque and inhumane actions that were committed. I believe this is the first step w/anything b/c in order to “solve” something or prevent it from happening again, we have to understand the psychological drive behind it so that we may better negotiate with it if, and when, it comes around again. WS’s statement has simply made people begin to think about what was behind the tragedy (as far as way of thinking) and trying to see it from the personal viewpoint of the man in charge. Now in case any of my words have been misunderstood, I think Hitler used his power very very inhumanely and I am completely against what he stood for, however as a human being myself, I understand that the things we do are not always the best actions for others involved. Though it may not be respected or “correct”, it is vital that we start looking at things from the “villain’s” pov so that we have a basis for fighting against it-we cant fight something w/out having a layout of the land and means of understanding the enemy first.

  • Brian

    What’s the big deal? All Will Smith did was say what is actually true. I mean, what kind of person does wake up and say, “I’m going to kill all of these people because it’s not right.” That’s not what Hitler did, he did what his mind believed to be true. If you believe it to be the truth, then to you, it is the truth. Plain and simple. This is just another example of a celebrity getting villified because the media either reports it wrong, or simply makes it out to be something that it is not. I am sick and tired of the media and the things they report. why don’t we ever hear about the good things that happen in the world? oh, because that isn’t as controversial! that’s what the media is all about, controversy and it’s ridiculous!

  • About Time

    That what wrong with this world today. They all say we should all move foward. But, when someone speaks out, the public jumps all over them. First, of all Hitler did nothing more than the White man did to our black ancestors as slave. Did they wake up one morning and say, “Well, let’s go out and hang a few slaves today! Come on, get over Hitler and let’s live for today!

  • Melanie

    I really feel for Will Smith right now. I often have my beliefs interperted incorrectly also. But thankfully, mine aren’t usually distorted in front of the whole world.
    He never once said he agreed with or condoned Hitler’s actions. He only took the time and wisdom to look at the situation a little deeper. It’s very very easy to say that Hitler was pure evil and that’s just that. I believe there was an unbelievable amount of evil working in Hitler’s heart. But I do not believe he was born that way. I don’t know what happened, but something happened. Now before you say “We all have bad things happen to us, and we don’t go out and commit genocide.” But that’s a very simplistic view. Many people are molested as children. Some grow up to be child molestors themselves, and some grow up to be childrens advocates. There is no black & white cut & dry answers to things like these.
    I will probably get blasted for this, but I believe the real spiritual leaders of our world (Jesus, Ghandi, etc.) would find forgiveness for him. You can forgive and try to understand people and horrific situations without condoning reprehensible (sp?) actions or suggesting that their actions should not have consequences.
    Acid destroys the container it’s kept in. Meaning, forgiveness is always the path to emotional and spiritual freedom. Furthermore, the acid inside Hitler will do more damage to him than anything anyone else could inflict upon him.

  • beth

    I would be very interested in a definition of Good from Will Smith. I have never been that impressed with the intellect of celebrities and this comment reaffirms my belief that intelligence is not a requirement for working in film. Perhaps Will should read a history book, a dictionary might be helpful.

  • zAROVE

    I agree. The Comments aren’t shocking, and actually are corect. Hitler didn’t wake up and decide to be evil, and didn’t see himself as evil. Will Smith didn’t say Hitler wasn’t evil, he just said Hitler was in his own mind, not evil.
    That said, for the poster who mentioend the wole “Cahtolic Churhc did nothing/though the Jews where Christ-Killers” comment, isn’t that a bit off topic? Its also an old, and innaccurate, statment. I mean, Pius the 12 did save numerosu JEwish lives for soemone who thought they where all Christ killers, and the Cahtolic Church did declare National Socialism to be incompatable with the Christiamn Ethic.
    This is like when folks jump on the “Pope is a NAZI” bandwagon…

  • tag

    It infuriates me that the press has used Will Smith’s words to smear him. He used Hitler as the example BECAUSE Hitler is the embodiment of evil. All Smith said was that Hitler did not believe himself to be evil, not that Hitler was actually good. Smith didn’t “spit” on anyone. Why is the press spitting on Smith?

  • Zero-Equals-Infinity

    Few are those who do evil who believe themselves evil. Most believe that they are good, and it is in that self-deception which they condemn themselves.

  • Adrienne

    Will Smith has every right to his opinion. I did not find offense in what he said and agree that if an individual really and truthfully believe in what they are doing is right; then there is no stopping that person. Hilter was a vile and callus creature for what he did and so was Idi Amen and others who thought that there way of being; their religion, their creed, and their race is better than the rest of us humans. Let’s leave WS alone and think for just one moment about what we are doing to stop zealous terrorists out there doing the same thing: cleansing the human race of what they believe is the wrong way to believe and to live.

  • Joel

    I once was the recipient of a letter, supposedly written by a klansman, that wholeheartedly endorsed black gangbangers and encouraged them to continue on with their fratricidal activities and self-destructive behaviour. The letter pointed out the fact that this type attitude and behaviour was conducive to the aims and goals of the klan, the aryan brotherhood,etc. My feeling regarding the jewish defense league,the klan, the AB, and any/all other groups of “american” citizens, black,brown,red,yellow, or white, that expouse racial hatred, intolerance, bigotry, etc. are providing fertile ground for those groups in the world whose sole desire is the total destruction of this land of our’s! Abby Hoffman stated that the “revolutionists will be american citizens”,,,my feeling is that we may not be firing weapons at each other, but we most certainly are guilty of opening the gates for our sworn enemies! An African-American Combat Veteran ( USMC 1stMARDIV 1966-1974 )

  • tag

    If we were to boycott someone, it should be the original writer of the article falsely putting words into Will Smith’s mouth suggesting Hitler was good, but who are they? They are safely anomymous while Smith takes all the heat because he is famous and they are not.

  • James

    Everyone has an opinion,some are different from others,we express them,others may disagree,but it up to each individual to change their own!So I think we can agree to disagree,and still be respectfull of others opinions.

  • tag

    What annoys me is that Will Smith is taking the heat for an opinion he never even had! Some writer thought they’d be smart and wrongly interpret Smith’s opinion for him and now Smith takes all the backlash while the writer goes blissfully on their way unscathed. That is just plain wrong.


    Ester forgets this is the United States, and we have freedom of speech, just as Ester has the freedom to disagree, so does Mr. Smith has the freedom to speak out. One should not be ostercised for speaking his/her mind. Are you (Ester) then not doing what Hitler did? What is the difference? In dictating what should or should not be said. Let the man speak his mind just as you have placed your article, as it is, in reading what Mr. Smith said I find nothing wrong in it, unless you take it out of context and twist the words around, as you have done, less you forget he is black and is fully aware of racism.

  • curt

    Looking back at history, Hitler did good things for the German people (PREWAR) The economy was shot, people out of work and desperate and the treaty that ended WWI left Germany bankrupt and broken. But how is this comment any different from those out there today that say President Bush bombed the world trade center to start a war and lied to start the war in Iraq. Both men did what they thought was in the best interest of their countries. Both created jobs and wealth through their administrations, both have fought wars that the people of both nations started off supporting. Both have been listed as villains by critics and political enemies. The only difference is history is written by the victors and history has decided that Hitler was a monster at the end of the war and that he was an insane criminal, Would we be having this conversation if Will Smith had said “George Bush didn’t wake up going, “let me do the most evil thing I can do today,” adding that Bush was trying to do what he thought was good, though his mind used “a twisted, backward logic.”
    or if he said “Hillary Clinton didn’t wake up going, “let me do the most evil thing I can do today,” adding that Clinton was trying to do what she thought was good, though her mind used “a twisted, backward logic.”
    No we would have a new anti bush /anti Clinton hero in the media. This is a nothing comment and shouldn’t even be worth talking about. Put the comment in context and get over it, every politician does the best thing for the country at some point in the beginning of their career and it’s the end of the career that puts them in history. You can parse the two points and see good and evil in any political figure then and now.

  • Jessica

    I don’t see anything wrong with what Will Smith said. I get what he was trying to “get at”. It is no different than me saying my great great grandfather owned slaves. He didn’t wake up saying “let me do the cruelest meanest thing I can today and imprison 15 or 20 negros.” No, I think he did what he thought was acceptable at the time. Was he wrong? Absolutely, he was wrong. What he did was despicable. I just don’t happen to think he woke up to be an awful person.

  • Betty

    I just can’t believe the news people (most of them) and how they twist everything.Aren’t there some righteous news people that can and wiil tell the truth??? I never hear anything on the news but bad things,though there are good things going on too everyday,but we don’t hear about them unless we watch Oprah or wel listen to Christian radio or television,but the ones who need to listen or view theses stations are not.They are too busy trying to outdo the others by inventing or stretching the truth to make themselves look good.I wonder what would happen if we would not watch the NEWS for at least a week and see how the ratings would affect the news media???? Just a thought for those of us who would like to see the outcome.

  • Ruth Sherman

    It’s the twisted logic of the press that make anything regarding Jews, however indirect, into something anti-semite… but, degrade Black people however you like and no one says a damned word.

  • Bernadette

    People seem to forget that our stars are people, too. They aren’t
    perfect (only 1 person I know of that was!) and they sometimes say the
    first thing that comes into their mind when asked a question- on the
    spot. Then the media- journalists, especially- take that comment and
    run with it! Believe it or not, I understand exactly what Will Smith
    was saying! In a warped sense of himself, HITLER believed he was right.
    People like HITLER will always do what they think in their mind is the
    right thing for the good of all; and that doesn’t always include every-
    one! He felt about the Jewish people the same way some southerners felt
    about the Negros in the old south-before the war. Remember- there were
    many Germans who risked their lives to hide Jewish families and indiv-
    iduals, as there were sotherners who hid and helped many black people
    to escape, at risk to their own lives.I am sure Will Smith knows all
    this; if ignorant journalists would have given him a moment or two to
    explain this, all would be well. But- you can’t argue with ignorance!

  • Esther Kustanowitz

    Ester forgets this is the United States, and we have freedom of speech, just as Ester has the freedom to disagree, so does Mr. Smith has the freedom to speak out. One should not be ostercised for speaking his/her mind. Are you (Ester) then not doing what Hitler did? What is the difference? In dictating what should or should not be said. Let the man speak his mind just as you have placed your article, as it is, in reading what Mr. Smith said I find nothing wrong in it, unless you take it out of context and twist the words around, as you have done, less you forget he is black and is fully aware of racism.
    Speaking for Esther, as I often do, Esther is fully aware and appreciative that this is the United States, and that anyone has a right to disagree with her. I’m not advocating that people ostracize others for what they say. And as I stated in the post, I don’t believe Will Smith agrees with the actions of Adolf Hitler!! And I don’t doubt that WS is aware of racism. My indignation to the invocation of Hitler is not just from a Jewish place, but let us not forget that Hitler was “purifying” the race from black people, the old and infirm, people with birth defects or abnormalities, Gypsies and homosexuals, as well. (And who knows where it would have gone from there.) So please don’t make this into a “Jewish overreaction by the media.”
    But celebrities have a certain pulpit that most of us civilians will never have, and as such, their responsibility may be (and I’m not even sure it actually “is,” which is why I say “may be”) to be responsible for the things they say. I’m NOT dictating what celebrities should say. I’m a writer who believes in free speech, even if it makes me uncomfortable.
    I have always loved Will Smith’s work, and don’t blame him for speaking. As point of fact, neither does the JDL, which today revoked yesterday’s call for a boycott. But celebrities, as anyone else, should be aware of how loud and far-reaching their words can roam, and if you opine–especially if you are invoking controversial topics and figures to make your point–you need to be able to justify your statements when the questions ensue.

  • Audrey

    I have always liked Will Smith. He was great when he started on Fresh Prince”. He is a good person. He is a good actor. He is a good family man. He does not believe that what Hitler did was in any way good. He was simply talking about how the man justified what he did to himself. I wish everybody would leave Will alone.

  • Gregory Johnson

    At first I said to myself “they got to be kidding”! Then I read the article written by “Ester”. In her article she attempts to indict WS on making a favorable statement on Hitler. Did I lose something in the translation? Did Ester read something that my feeble weak mind had no way of interpeting? No, I don’t think so. What Mr. Smith said was not anti-semetic or anti-jew. What he said is that no one wakes up and say “I will do evil against my fellow human today”. Now that I have voice that let me get to the point of why I am writing. I decided that I would read a little about the author and or contributor of this slanderous little blog. Ms. Ester a self proclaimed celeb in her own little blog world seems to be attempting to make it in the real world of writers and critics. By writing such an inflamatory “blog” you have just broken your own fingers in which you write with. Take your own advice that you gave to Will Smith and just shut up! Your blog is boring and basically aimed at a limited audience Ester please write a retraction and then go away!

  • Kathy M

    I think if you take his comment in context.. it doesn’t imply that what Hitler did was right at all.
    Just that he just one day decide to be the evil being he became. It is something that built up in his twisted mind. He THOUGHT he was doing right, not that what he did was right.
    You also have to remember that as evil and heinous as Hitler was, his ideas FOUND ROOT AND GREW. That is something that we, especially those conversing on the internet where it is so easy to be who you are not, or to act out of character need to always keep a watch on.
    Not everyone speaks the truth, even thought they may speak what is on their mind, and it is far too easy to manipulate, or misuse someone else’s thoughts, with a clever edit of their words.. added on to those who misinterpret the meaning all on their own.

  • Mary

    I’m thinking that Mr. Smith did think before he spoke, if he had not, some people would not have been offended by his comment. Others would not have to come to his defense had he not projected a thought that could be challenging to the average person’s conscience. I am female with brown eyes and brown hair, Hitler would have gassed me for just that. As Mr. Smith stated Hitler did not wake up one day and decide to be evil and heinous, even the most evil and heinous people have the need to do what they feel is right. He surely had the deep down need to help the human race survive, and in some twisted way he just knew that only blonde haired blue eyed people were the ones who were supposed to carry on the race. I never spoke with Hitler, as he was well before my time, so I have no idea how he came to that conclusion, but anyone who knows anything about psychology knows that even criminals think that their actions are for the best. Am I justifying what Hitler did? Hardly.

  • Ida

    I think we all need to take a deep breath and rethink this ‘battle’. We seem to be in agreement that Will Smith is a talented actor. Beyond that, I would never expect Mr. Smith to bake me a cake, repair my computer, be my spirutual advisor or even speak with much eloquence about world history. I think the bottom line here is that he may have fumbled over a thought and misspoke in the process of trying to be pithy. So what?
    I recognize Will’s statements as naive and misguided but not as offensive or anti-semetic. Believe me, this writer has seen anti-semitism first hand and this is NOT anti-semitism.

  • LUO

    Not everything in this world is black and white – good or evil.
    Nobody wakes up one day and decides to committ to horrible evil. In which case Will Smith’s comment is absolutely correct, but in no way does it imply that he supports the actions of Hitler.

  • Sable

    Who is this Ester Kustanowitz and why should we care what she thinks?
    It’s people like her who FAN THE FLAMES of a non-essential remark into a racial, religious frenzy.
    Shame on you, Ester — and shame on you, Beliefnet, for posting her remarks.

  • tag

    The problem of it is not that Will Smith mispoke or was misguided, but that the author of the original article reinterpreted what Smith said and the media has run with it, unless there is more to his quote than I’ve seen. Smith did not say all people are good. He did not say Hitler was good. He simply used Hitler as an example of someone who thought he was doing good, while actually doing evil. For the quote to work the example had to be evil. Just try to replace “Mother Teresa” where “Hitler” is in the quote; you’ll see it would make no sense. Clearly Smith thought Hitler didn’t see himself as evil, even though it is obvious Hitler’s actions are the very definition of evil.

  • Anonymous

    I think Will smith is a very talented young man. We just can’t
    say everything that comes to mind. For it may get turned around
    like his commment has done. Evil people know that they are doing
    evil. Paul in the Bible knew that he was doing wrong by persecuting
    christians. Jesus showed him the errors of his ways . And he repented
    and began one of greatest men in the bible in fact he wrote one third
    of the bible.

  • steve o

    Get over it and move on.There are a lot more important things going on in this world than worrying about a comment taken out of context by another celeb.Put your efforts into something that will make a differance in the world,not making something out of nothing.

  • lynn

    I think Will Smith has the right to express his opinion like everyone else. After all it’s called free speech . One of our most held dear values. How can we expect people to learn to get along with one another when you can’t have an open and honest discussion on our views. The truth of the matter is that people can do evil and not realize it. The bible also speaks of this when Jesus says if it was possible that even the elect would be decieved. Evil is good at decieving us . The bible speaks that there will come a time when evil is mistaken for good and good will be mistaken for evil.

  • Anonymous

    Will smith has the , I have to much money blues. Think before you
    speak. For a Black man to say something like that oh my god! Will
    do me a favor stop public speaking. For you get blackballed in
    hollywood. You have alot of money , but america will never excuse
    you for saying and making them kind of comments. Did he tell Jada
    he was going to say that? I don’t think so.

  • Theda Bostic,Jr.

    This is really blown out of context. I know Will is not for Hitler, but boycotting his movie? For what? It does not merit all the nagativity. People, don’t we have any other more important issues we can argue about? Get a life!!

  • Dan Carson

    Oh, pleeease!!! A good journalist doesn’t pick and choose the words that he or she quotes. Anything other than what a person actually says ceases to become a quote.
    The person who wrote the article, as many of todays journalists, opted to edit what Mr. Smith said in order to sensationalize.
    I don’t believe for a minute that Will Smith is an anti-semite.

  • Anonymous

    My opinion has always been the following: I have no opinion of Will Smith whatsoever!

  • Amanda

    What he said is a fact. Hitler was trying to do right by his country. Yes he was twisted and evil but in his own mind he was a hero. Hitler didn’t function with proper logic. Slamming Will Smith for pointing this out shows a lack of rational thought. It’s easy to say that he’s evil and what not and leave it at that. It was more complicated however.(As anyone who has studied him will tell you.) Despite this horrifyingly sad chapter of modern history, the facts shouldn’t be denied.

  • Sabbaba18

    Context oh context its what makes literature literature, and a speach a speach. But once we take pieces out of context, its like the stained glass before its the window, or seeing a whole 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle put together – by just seeing one piece of it. Will Smith is an anti semite as much as Mickey Mouse is a racist! These celebrities are pushed to say something of Churchill like preportions when theyre walking their dogs down the street.
    I’m sure in this case the same pressure was cast on poor Will, who has the personality more of a Teddy bear than a Grizzly bear. Look at the whole of the situation before you quote a piece of it, but thats not what the Mediaratzis do – but I say to them in his defense,as Forest Gump said so elequently “Stupid is as stupid does!”
    As a Jew, any mention of Hitler is quite appalling to me. As a teacher I can also well understand where Will was coming from in his snippet. Look at your history books my friends, look at what was happening in Germany at that time, you may find that Will Smith was correct in his reflections of that time and what drove the Mad man to what he did… Maybe the celebrities should just smile at the Mediaratzis and let there dogs do the talking for them – or hopefully their leg lifting on them!

  • Mike Farrington

    Some of us Americans are smart enough to think before we jump to conclusions. The rest of America seems to be poised to rip out the heart of anyone who makes mention of a subject they dislike…without really thinking. I understood what Will Smith said and what he meant. I have often said myself that Hitler was right, he just went about things in the wrong way. For those of you who do not bother to think, wrong way indicates that Hitler was extremely evil and even crazy, but he didn’t know that.

  • yvonne r martin


  • Steve

    We forget the lessons of the Holocaust at our peril. In 1961, when Hannah Arendt wrote her classic book “Eichmann in Jerusalem” about the trial of Adolf Eichmann, she coined the phrase, “the banality of evil.” Much as we would love to believe that Hitler, Eichmann, and the Nazis represent pure evil, something wholly “other,” the truth is more complex and frightening. Alexander Solzhenitzyn stated it eloquently. “The dividing line between good and evil cuts like a knife through the center of every human heart.” We can demonize the perpetrators of unspeakable atrocities, and smugly think of ourselves as good by definition, but this dooms us as Americans to continue the history of American imperialism, the millions of dead indigenous peoples and enslaved Africans, the slaughter of the remaining native Americans in the name of Manifest Destiny, and in the last 60 years the slaughter of millions, the support of dictators, and the overthrow of democratically elected governments in the name of ‘freedom” and “anti-communism.” Finally, the slaughter of a million Iraquis, mostly women and children, and the cynical sacrifice of thousands of young American men and women in a war without end that will be used ultimately to justify an American Fascist state if we allow it. Please, I beg you, cool it with the righteous indignation and wake up before it’s too late. Undoubtedly industrial genocide is unparallelled in the history of human evil, but don’t let the holocaust blind us to our own evil, or we are lost.

  • larry91403

    I’m sure Mr. Smith would not have appreciated it if a white actor had made a similar comment like “Those people in the south were just doing what they thought was right for their country by buying/selling africans…”. Y’all are out of your minds! The motivation of the person(s) does not matter when something heinous is done!

  • karla

    Why are we so eager to comdem? Was the whole conversation aired or just an excert, to excite, and anger us to dialouge. I have been raised there is some bad in the best of us and some good in the worst of us. I would bet that if we were to listen to Mr. Smith’s conversation in it’s entirety we would have a better perpective of the true context of the phrase. I’m working with my children to fully listen as not to jump to the wrong conclusion.

  • Anne Idell

    I believe Will Smith has a right to his opinion like anyone else.
    I don’t believe he is malicious or had any idea that his statement
    would be taken totally out of context. What would he have to gain?
    He is not stupid and would not jeopardize his good reputation on this subject. Why are we so anxious to percecute, condemn, and demoralize
    each other? Historically, Hitler’s reign was diabolical and evil. We
    all know this, but what about our own hearts and minds? There is so
    many other really important issues facing us and not one soul has come
    up with a solution. Such as, the war in Iraq and the many lives lost
    and the many lies told getting us there, unemployment, social security,
    our children’s safety in the schools, healthcare, the homeless, drugs,
    global warming, racial prejudice, aids, immorality, lack of character and integrity in high places, etc., etc., etc. …the beat goes on. I ask as the late LBJ once asked, “why can’t we be a more kinder, more gentle nation”? (particularly to each other) and one more adage: “Charity begins at home”.

  • Walter

    Mr. Smith’s comments aside, what is it about actors and others in the public arena that equipts them to be a sage, philosopher or expert? Unless they are highly regarded on the matter, and well educated on the subject, they should check with their publicist before stating an opinion that may be taken out of context.
    Anyone foolish enough to make a comment that is interpreted as making light of what Hitler did is not taking a sanity check before speaking.

  • Chris

    Looks like that scientology is getting to his mind just like it has Tom Cruise. You will see and hear more as he gets further into this cult.

  • Christopher

    Wow, everyone is saying Will Smith should have thought before he spoke, when in truth everyone else needs to do the same. Smith never said Hitler was good, he said Hitler thought he was doing something good. Doesn’t the human mind (especially a twisted one) usually try to justify the actions we take? If any of you had studied the history of the time period, you would know that Hitler did in fact believe he was doing something good. He truly felt he was improving the human race. Now of course we know he was wrong, and was evil, but he didn’t think so. Thats all Smith was saying. Get a clue people.

  • Mary

    You are all missing the point! I agree with Will Smith, who was obviously trying to make the point that evildoers never see themselves as evildoers. As a Christian, I know from scripture that Satan clothes himself as an angel of light. That means if Satan is allowed, he can take a human being, like Hitler, and so completely overtake his mind and soul, so that even murdering millions of people (besides murdering Jews, he also murdered several million Eastern Orthodox Christians)is a good thing. That is why the quest for true belief and self-introspection is so paramount in life. We can be led astray in huge, horrific ways, but also in small ways when we give into selfish, harmful urges or are too apathetic to seek truth.

  • Jacqueline

    You know it doesn’t make much sense and there oughta’ be a law against anyone who takes offense at Will’s conversation. Because we all know what Hilter was, became and stood for. He was possessed. Be it by the Devil or Satan who are one in the same. Let freedom of speech ring.

  • Steve

    Bravo to those who point out the shallowness of criticizing Smith for his accurate assesment. Of course, Hitler was crazy; of course, he didn’t think so – that’s freshman year Intro psych. Just because someone mentions Hitler and doesn’t take care that every sentence contain some mention of all the anti-Semitism still present in the world doesn’t make him or her unqualified to offer an opinion. Will Smith is a very intelligent man, and his comment was true. Anyone foolish enough to try to make political hay out of an honest observation should be the one doing the sanity check. Everything doesn’t have to be contentious, except to those who feed on discord. The saddest thing about the piece above is the last part – the only reason to self-censor is fear of ignorance in your audience.

  • Michael

    What we have here is an irony of history.
    In the middle ages, and even through the Elizabethan period when the rough equivalent of modern day movie actors, stage acting, was in its renaissance, stage actors were among the few literate people and some of the more intelligent in their contemporary society. They could actually understand the play and the role they played therein, unlike most of their audience, who were merely interested in entertainment and a good laugh. Ironically, they were considered ‘low class scum’ by society at large.
    In contrast, today’s movie and TV actors are less educated (intelligent) and literate than their typical audience, reflect the most emotionally dysfunctional people on the planet, most never appear on stage because they are no good without dozens of takes and couldn’t handle a full stage production where they had to manage a script and role from start to finish, the chaos they call life serves as greater entertainment than their film performance, and most ironically of all they are generally regarded with the highest of esteem …. even when their foolishness is public ally exposed, as in the case in point.

  • Mary

    Smith made mistake talking on such a touchy subject, but Hitler was a child at one time. Everyone is afraid to talk about his youth, how he grew up, what made the man that particular man. Everyone knows that Hitler had some sort of mental illness, but still it is intriguing to read about his early years. He wasn’t even German. He wasn’t a blond. His early years were marked by failure, yet something occurred that caused his rise in power. His interest in the occult and the relics from Christ (Spear of Destiny and other things) still causes me to wonder what was going on in that mind.
    Perhaps if one of Hitler’s friends, neighbors, employers, had taken the time to be more interested in him, perhaps he wouldn;t have turned into such a killer and madman. Perhaps his madness would have taken another turn if someone had given him a kind word before his mind flipped.

  • Homer Wiggins

    More dangerous than outright anti-semitism is the unthinking , uncaring ,uninformed statements such as Mr. Smith is guilty of. These are the people that allow a Hitler to come to power . or stand idley by while K.K.K. and others spill out their poison. Free speech is wonderful , but care should still be exercised to protect the rights and lives of others. That is why no form of anti semitism should ever be tolerated.History will show you there are no small errors in this area.

  • Barry

    I think it is SAD that this is a Christian board and there are so many who are judging Will Smith–not on what he actually said, but what THEY perceive that he meant. Did not Jesus say, “Judge not that ye be not judged”? and did he not continue with the warning, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”? When we die and meet our Maker, He will know how we have treated other people on this Earth, and He will treat us in like manner, just as nicely–or just as harshly–as we have treated others.
    Will Smith made an awkward statement, but that is all he is guilty of. Just because he said that he doesn’t believe that Hitler woke up each morning saying, “How much evil can I do today?” doesn’t mean that he likes Hitler, nor does it mean that he thinks that Hitler was a good man, but that he was a bad man who THOUGHT he was doing what was best for mankind. Some of the things I have heard on the Discovery Channel seem to show that he probably thought that he was doing a favor to God by doing what he was doing, for he was heavily involved in Norsk Mythology, which is similar to Greek and Roman Mythology, and he was an avid fan of the composer, Wagner, who supposedly had themes in his music that were heavily influenced with Norsk Mythology and the belief that the Aryan white race is superior.
    This Will Smith comment and the way the Christian community has reacted reminds me of John Lennon’s statement that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus was in His lifetime. Nobody bothered to ask him either of these two of what they meant. What John Lennon meant is that, in the Bible, there is only one place where it says that Jesus entertaining 5,000 men–not counting the women and children (the time that he fed the multitude with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish). Yet, in one arena, The Beatles were entertaining about 20,000 people every time they did a concert, and their records were selling in the millions.
    I do not see John Lennon’s statement as being anti-Christian, nor do I see Will Smith’s statement as being pro-Hitler. Both of these people made the same mistake: They forgot to speak only on topics– and word it with the utmost simplicity– that the average IDIOT could understand without misconstruing it to mean something else. I DO think it is A SHAME that Christians are so quick to act out in imposing such harsh judgment on both of these people. In addition, I think it is a crying shame that this Christian website has chosen to write this article–and then to send e-mails to each of its members TO MAKE SURE we read it.
    It is because of the Christian’s reaction to what John Lennon had said that caused him to change his mind about believing in God anymore. Will this happen to Will Smith? I hope not!
    Neither of the remarks should have been said, that is true, but aren’t we Christians supposed to be quick to dish out forgiveness?

  • Billy G. Mims-Goodman

    Will Smith made a statement that probably unsettles people who are protesting vehemently because in effect he demythologizes the Absolute Evil connotation that the mere mention of Hitler evokes. Hitler an ordinary human. A man who made mistakes: major mistakes, that cost myriad deaths and untold suffering. That may well be too revolutionary a statement for some.
    It would be easier to brand him. That would make the “world” make sense. Evil must, after all be punished. History must be made to recount the tale numerous times to imprint the Infamy. Perhaps we need an example of most vile of human capacities in order to give proper brilliant contrast to the Shining Example of others. It might well be unconscionable to question what is now a generational viewpoint. Left up to “us” – being morally sound, socially conscious, spiritually aware individuals, it might well be common sense that Hitler be punished adsolutely and condemned for all time to whatever nether existence that would be suitable. Cut of completely from humanity. Marked eternally as beyond Salvation. Denied, for all time, any hope of Salvation.
    If we were God, that might be so. Unfortunately, we are not God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Jesus Christ, Buddah, etc. In honest reflection of our common human reality, that is not our place to decide. In is self-righteous tyranny to ascribe any other human being to exist beyond the hope of Salvation or futhermore to be devoid of the Divine engine of the Soul that gives us breath. The ultimate vanity is to assume that we as human beings “know” better than a Divine God. If reality and history bear out any fact, perhaps that is the way that God desired it to be. I do not lean to assume that my perspective could be superior. It is-after all consideration- frail, imperfect, and finite.
    Forgiveness and the height of spritual development- Unconditional Love – are aspirations for the mass of humanity. With our imperfectness, we right cannot conceive the vastness of the ways of God. In would make an all knowing, all loving God less that the Entity that is to assume by our finite logic that God should love as we love, hate as we hate, grant salvation and damnation as we prescribe. There’s a term for that called anthropomophism. Illustrated by the mythology of the greeks in which their dieties were ascribed human faults and failings.
    Perhaps the world would be better served to take an example from the “Ultimate Evil” of Hitler as more that the simple objectification of that image. To introspect and find affiliation with how each individual manifests faulty logic, bad decisions, self-righteous will and in turn hurts those within our personal sphere each day. To search our souls and examine the motivation for denying anyone their basic dignity as a human being- a physical “object” devoid of soul and lacking in meaning- is wrong. To believe that the world would be without any one person, group or type of people is to assume that God might best realize this and adjust reality according to our desires. Why? What does that actually serve in the brooding, often-disowned spectre of our inner evil? Perhaps, it is possible that we are perfectly human and without blame. We have a right take the stone of conceit and self-righteousness and hurl it at that which we know to be the Ultimate of Evils. Anyone who would dare challenge the myth of such would deserve to be targeted as well. He that would dare speak out and acknowledge the possibility of humanity, in any manifestation, and the precious commodity of the human soul might well challenge our intolerant complacency of mind. That is too much for “common” sense. That one might best be ostracized, black-listed, and defrock of all influence. He has challenged what we hold to be “true” and necessary. He might deserve to be Crucified. After all, that is what happened to Jesus. Is it not. Too often he challenged the status quo. He moved beyond the norms and mores of the common culture as a visionary of what is greatest of the human condition: the capacity to LOVE. Furthermore, championing the transformative power of FORGIVENESS and the subtle beauty of RECONCILIATION.
    Our world might be better served to take up banner and do works of greater human kindness and understanding of duality of natures that we all possess, rather than hurling stones of ignorant denial and intolerance at those that encourage us to think outside the box, examine our motivations & feelings and from time to time, believe anew. These are some of the functions served by those who are artists. For that very reason major movements in political oppression have long sought to silence or ostracize them for they are lean and hungry for the truth. Their contributions inspire visions of how we can be different and incite change, and in some cases revolution.
    Are we complacent with myths of Ultimate Evils and our need to maintain them to the extent of becoming unable to love, forgive and reconcile. Perhaps we, too, will become so blind that any voice that calls us to challenge the vain tyranny of “what we know” in “common” sense. That individual and his kind might best be beaten with our self-righteous indignation. After all Jesus suffer the same ….and more, just to bring Salvation to all.

  • Matt

    I agree with some of the other people online that say Will smith was just making a comment that had no ” secret meaning” or bad intentions at all. I feel he was right by saying that Hitler didn’t wake up each morning and say I wonder how much evil I can do today. I feel Hitler was disturbed and sick, litearlly. Mental Illness is a serious and very complictae disease to deal with. And a lot of times, if not most, there’s a negative spiritual influence or presence behind it. I know because I am mentally ill and have struggled for many yrs. with the disease. But, I understand that people who are in the “spotlight” being a celebrity or public figure are very much judged on their words spoken at any time. Will smith is only human and I’m sure he didn’t mean any harm by saying what he did. And sometimes people are “quick to judge” and read to much into what others are saying. Also, I am a born again Christian and have been most of my life. Thanks

  • Donald

    It is my hope that Esther one day makes a remark which is misunderstood by a large number of stupid or malicious or careless people, so that she comes to understand Will Smith’s situation.
    This kind of thing happens all the time to anyone in the media spotlight–sometimes they really have said something stupid, but often they’ve only said something which is easily twisted into something stupid by people who enjoy ridiculing others, whether or not it is deserved. The charitable thing to do is try and understand what the person meant by it, which in this case isn’t that hard to do. Smith’s mistake was to forget how stupid and vicious our public discourse usually is.

  • Maya

    Will Smith’s comment was taken out of context. Hello Everyone, isn’t that the spirit of shoddy journalism? Sell papers, get your name published – even if it hurts another… it is very sad.
    There are more important things to worry about – the Iraq War, Darfur, the horrible turn of events in Pakistan…. crime and corruption in our own country.

  • Dan Helmworth

    Well…actually, Hitler might very well have gotten up in the morning and thought about what horrible things he might be able to do on that given day.
    Will Smith’s mistake is to assume that other people(even the most vicious character of the 20th century)have generally good impulses and try to do the right thing. It’s a common mistake made by decent people who have never had contact with the criminal element.
    The awful truth is that there are people who get up in the morning and make a very conscious decision to do bad things.
    All of this talk about “forgiveness” is all too easy, especially if you have not been violated.
    Smith didn’t really mean anything by his comment; he had not really thought it through.
    I don’t think it means much at all, and I would not judge the man harshly for a dumb comment.



  • HeLi

    1. Don’t be offended by someone who does not intend to offend.
    2. When someone refers to Hitler or the Nazi’s when making an intellectual point, try to understand what they are saying. Hitler is one of the best examples of evil we can point to.
    3. Hitler was no more evil than all those who live today and seek the death of any group, the difference was that Hitler was able to sell his hatred to one of the most powerful nations of that day. Stalin was just as evil, as was Mao. Each of these leaders believed that human life was worthless compared to their agendas. And unlike leaders today they wanted to enslave the world instead of empowering the world. When I see comments about Hitler and Bush I am reminded of the man who pushed an old lady in front of a bus and the man who pushed an old lady out of the way of an oncoming bus. Both are old lady pushers, but the motives of the men is the key. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and others sought to dominate and enslave the world. They each believed they were doing a good thing, moving their country or people forward at the expense of people they had marginalized in their minds. Will Smith was right but didn’t tell the whole story. Hitler did think he was doing good, but he also knew deep down that he was doing a great evil.

  • jaclinhyde

    This whole fuss over an innocent statement blown way out of proportion by some idiot journalist is almost too much to take. And anyone who would base their movie viewing habits on such a statement not only will be missing out on some quality films but will also be falling into the trap that these bottom feeding media hounds have set. I believe that Hitler probably didn’t realize that he was doing wrong; most mentally ill people don’t. That’s not an excuse, just a fact. And some food for thought, what does that say about his legion of followers that did his bidding then and still exist today? Who was more to blame; a man who was insane or the mentally stable mass of people who followed his words and carried out the atrocities he commanded be done? And where do we draw the line between crazy and sane?

  • jaclinhyde

    And someone was questioning Will Smiths IQ level in an earler comment; just so happens that it is over 186, well into the genius level. In fact, Will Smith was accepted to MIT on a full scholarship but turned it down for a career in the entertainment field.

  • Anonymous

    Turning down MIT on a freebie doesn’t indicate he’s much of a genius.

  • Susan

    What is wrong with this human race? We complain about and criticize every statement and view that others say or do. We have the answers for everything. We know what would bring world peace yet we can’t find a cure for AIDS, cancer, TB, and most importantly our own vulger mouths. Lets band together as a race of human beings not devised of color, religion, age, sex, or beliefs and begin to work together as a human society of all of the above to find a solution to these problems instead of creating more issues to fight against. We all bleed the same blodd and fight the same wars. We all shed the same tears and all grieve the same loss.

  • Todd

    If all the soldiers put down their weapons it would be tough for the people in charge.

  • al willis

    Jews must stop thinking the way they do about everything that is said is against them as Jews. There are many people against Jews all around the world but I don’t hate them neither does Will Smith. The thing Jews should be against is that thing on Seinfeld show. Since he made statements about the loving people of the Black Race I have not looked at antoher Seinfeld show and I doubt if I ever would. Matter of fact I am calling that the show be prohibited and never air again in history.

  • Karen

    OK so he opened mouth inserted foot….there are a lot of people on this planet that do not now or choose to not know what Hitler was all about….he not only prosecuted the Jews but he used children men and women to try to “create” a superior human race with all being blond and blue eyed….so this man was a lunatic so say the least….some do not understand why he did what he did….they try to make sense of the bizarre actions of one human towards others…but if you look around and open your eyes there is still the same similar actions playing out in the world at some stage or another….so is it politically incorrect what Will Smith said…no…if you really read what he did say, he was trying to understand and he failed so the media is picking him apart…..he has his opinion just like the rest of us…whether it is right or wrong….I sure as hell would not want my life and what I say under anyone microscope like these celebrities lives are….

  • M

    I don’t think Will Smith’s coMment can be compared to Mel Gibson’s at all! He is merely saying “In Hitler’s mind ,Hitler thought what he was doing wasn’t evil” Now understand this…… He said what he believed what HITLER THOUGHT. iT WASN’T RIGHT OR GOOD WHAT HITLER THOUGHT Smith MERELY SPOKE OF Hitler’s perception!! Geesh
    Smith did NOT say Hitler wasn’t evil but what Hitler thought!! Wow,much bruhaha over nothing!
    This is truly a case of people taking what Will Smith said as all wrong. People do not REALLY pay attention but are so eager to jump on someone for what wasn’t a ill intended though.

  • Kathy

    It all doesent make sense! Everyone is sensitive about comments and think they know what the person that made an off the wall comment really feels in there hart. Lets get off the bandwagon of he called me this or he said that about me and just look around at the reality of all the suffering and pain in the world. No words need to be said just time to take a good look at the real picture and try to solve the problems that are in the here and now. Worry about what matters. Jesus said: The tong is mighter then the sword and it is. It starts wars but peopel dont seem to use it to stop wars. And as for Hitler there are many still in this world that would be just like him givin the chance. And I totally get what Will was trying to say. The media are the real trouble makers. Turning and twisting peoples thoughts and comments to make them seem like a horrible person makes good news. The whole media industry has turned into one big tablod.

  • cindi

    who cares

  • Linda

    Before you react emotionally and write a blog that misquotes someone,or misinterprets the meaning of their statement, you need to think about the whole statement in context. Will Smith was not saying that what Hitler did was a good thing. He was saying that in Hitler’s twisted mind, he did not see what he waw doing as evil, and the all encompassing presence of G-d is all inclusive. Love and blessings. Linda

  • debra jackson

    i often wonder why people take everthing celebrities say and make a big thing out of it. if thats how he feels thats how he feels, he should be able to do that dont you think?

  • Christina

    What is the big deal? This in America after all. What ever happened to freedom of speech? This means that we have the right to say what we believe without having people jumping all over us for that. It also appears that the media did not really hear what he said in the first place. The media is definately making a mountain out of a molehhill with this nonsense.

  • james

    i think your comment about will smith is very basic and commpletly ill informed we all no what terrible things hitler did, i think if you looked at history in a bit more depth you will maybe find what will smith was trying to say that in the beginning when hitler tried to bring a country out of ressection through public work programmes just like new presadent abama with is road building plans….. look into history more and be mindfull that history is writen by the victors…. concentration camps where invented by the british in africa 1919 sir winston churchill ” i think 100000 people should be placeed in concentration camp for the purity of the british race!!!

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