Oi, there’s trouble in London Town, lads. Specifically on the set of Magic Mike’s Last Dance, the third installment of the best film franchise since The Godfather. The Sun reported that Thandiwe Newton was fired from the film 11 days into shooting over an argument she had with Channing Tatum about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.
“They fell out over the debacle at the Oscars. I was on set. I watched her and watched him. They were in and out of the house where we were filming having this confrontation,” a crew member told the British tabloid. Apparently the fight was “unimaginably vicious,” and eventually escalated to the point where Tatum got in his car and drove off set. Newton is being replaced by Salma Hayek as the female lead.
In a statement to Variety, a rep for Newton said that she was leaving the project “to deal with family matters.” Later, a rep told the Daily Mail that reports that she was fired over a Slap debacle were “completely inaccurate.”
If these reports aren’t true, that sucks for Newton, because it’s a really funny reason to get fired and I have no choice but to theorize what might have happened. The way I see it, there are a few ways this could have gone down:
- Newton was on Team Smith, and insisted that her Pursuit of Happyness co-star did nothing that bad; he was just defending his wife. Tatum, on the other hand, was of the belief that violence is never the answer and that Smith should have handled the situation like a real man (respectfully talking to Rock after, or sending an email).
- Tatum thought the slap was kind of a baller move, and kept being like, “You gotta admit, it made for a good show.” Newtown, who is described on Wikipedia as having an “affinity for Buddhism,” thought that the slap smacked of selfishness and lack of control.
- Tatum was really trying to convince Newton that it was planned, and that Rock was wearing a cheek pad.
- Tatum said something kind of racist by accident, and when Newton called him out on it he drove off set to heal.
- Newton said the whole thing was getting overblown and Tatum felt the need to come to the defense of comedians everywhere, who are now performing their sets in fear. You know he keeps up with comedy news, because he once qualified a video of Dave Chappelle that he shared on Instagram with “does not excuse anything hurtful tho to be clear.”
According to The Sun, director Steven Soderbergh did not take a side in the fight. That’s probably because he was too busy creating what is certain to be a masterpiece and couldn’t be bothered. Keep your head down, king, you’re doing important work.