|Given the rest of the great things he does for his kids and the way he lives his life (not swearing in his songs, for example) and models good behavior all around; I think it's frownable that you discount his promotions of 'homeschooling'. I think he's doing a good thing by raising awareness to the negatives of schools and taking charge of his kids education as an example. I don't think his choice to spank or not should hold any weight against that; as they're two separate issues.
I would agree if we were talking about two totally different issues. It might be "frownable" to discount his acting ability based on his personal parenting beliefs.
However, both the spanking and his idea's on education concern children. I completely disagree that the spanking issue should be swept aside just because he promotes alternative education.
It isn't unusual for pro spanking and pro homeschooling sentiments to come from the same person. I would say that a significant percentage of homeschoolers are pro spanking. Will Smith has publicly advocated both practices--and so have many other homeschoolers.
I think people are willing to overlook this because he is a celebrity. If he were the author of a parenting book he would be heavily criticized here for his pro spanking sentiments, regardless of his pro homeschooling attitude. People would want to know *exactly* what he meant when he sang a song about hitting his son. He didn't write a book, but he has used a public platform to assert opinions on serious parenting issues, and is no less accountable for it than the author of a parenting book. Again--he didn't reveal a weak moment as a parent, but asserted his willingness to hit his child (in the song). Maybe it was just an expression he used because it sounded good in the song--if he wants to be taken seriously now, he needs to revisit the issue.
It's nice when celebrities normalize an alternative issue. Hopefully Will Smith will publicly take back what he said about hitting children. If he is truly an advocate of freedom in learning, that shouldn't be a stretch for him at all.