Will Smith has apologized to Chris Rock for slapping him during the 2022 Oscars telecast. On March 28, a day after the incident, Smith directly addressed the controversy in an Instagram statement.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote. “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.”
During the March 27 awards show, Rock took a jab at Jada’s shaved head while he presented an award onstage. Rock said he was looking forward to seeing her in a sequel to G.I. Jane. The 1997 film starred Demi Moore with a buzzcut.
Rock touched on a sensitive subject as Jada previously revealed publicly that she has alopecia, a medical condition that can cause hair loss.
Following Rock’s comment, Smith walked onstage, slapped the comedian, returned to his seat, and twice shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*cking mouth.” Later in the show, Smith took the stage again to accept the award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard. During his speech, he tearfully apologized to the Academy but did not directly mention the slap or Rock. He also did not apologize directly to Rock.
Now, the King Richard star has formally addressed the comedian on Instagram.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong,” Smith continued in his post. “I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
Smith then apologized to the Academy, the awards show’s producers, attendees, and viewers. He ended his statement by addressing the Williams family and the King Richard cast and crew. “I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” he wrote. “I am a work in progress.”
On March 29, Jada issued a cryptic statement on Instagram, calling for “healing.” She did not directly address her husband, Rock, or the Oscars.
According to CNN, Rock has declined to press charges against Smith.