A Ukrainian reporter caused a scene in Moscow when, as one of a crowd, he asked Will Smith for a hug. WS obliged and gave him a “man hug” (patting him on the back). The reporter responded by trying to give him kisses on both cheeks, almost kissing him on the mouth. Will Smith reacted angrily, by pushing him away, saying “Come on, man, what the hell is your problem, buddy?” – with a backhand slap.
I’m not sure this incident was really an issue of intercultural miscommunication, or if it was, whether it was about national cultures. Some instances of kissing are – note scenario 6 in this excellent list of everyday intercultural incidents (link) – but here the reporter himself admits to “wanting to make an impression”. That would suggest that he in fact intentionally overstepped certain understood, acknowledged boundaries. He simply misjudged what his provocation would lead to. 15 minutes of fame for the otherwise nameless “kissy reporter”:
Will Smith’s take:
The reporter apologizes and explains: