By Marisol Bo-oc | 10:12 AM March 29, 2022
Will Smith is publicly apologizing to comedian Chris Rock after the King Richard star smacked the comedian in the face during Oscars Sunday night.
Smith, 53, wrote a lengthy statement on Instagram, admitting he was wrong for striking Rock, 57, onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith began.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be,” he continued, which was the first time the Oscar winner directly apologized to the man he hit. “There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family,” the actor continued. “I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress.”
The incident occurred Sunday night after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, saying in part, “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see ya.”
The award show moment, which left viewers around the world stunned, instantly went viral online, even leading some to speculate that it had been planned.
Later on during the telecast, a tearful Will apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees after being awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Venus Williams and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams.