Will Smith posts apology video, addresses Chris Rock slap
'My behavior was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk,' Smith tells Rock in the video
Months after the infamous Oscars slap, Will Smith has posted an official apology video addressing the viral moment, speaking directly to Rock, his family, fans and more.
As theGrio reported earlier this year, the 94th Annual Academy Awards was certainly a ceremony to remember, specifically after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock across the face following the comedian’s joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. In an emotional video uploaded to YouTube as well as his social media accounts, Smith addresses the camera and breaks down the now infamous moment.
While Smith posted a written apology back in March, this is the first time Will has publicly spoken on it in video format. When explaining why he did not take the time to apologize to Chris that same night when he was accepting the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, he explained, “I was fogged out by that point. It is all fuzzy.” He continued, “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that, he’s not ready to talk. When he is, he will reach out.”
Smith then spoke directly to Rock, saying, “I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.” He added, “I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I saw an interview that Chris’s mother did, and that was one of the things I just didn’t realize. I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment. So I want to apologize to Chris’ mother, I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. This is probably irreparable.”
He went on to detail the work he has done in the past three months “replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities” of the televised moment. “I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”
Later in the video, the Oscar winner dispelled the idea that Pinkett Smith may have prompted the moment or asked Smith to defend her in any way. “I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris… Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe, and I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us.”
He also apologized to Questlove, who accepted an award immediately after that moment, as well as the nominees. “To all my fellow nominees, this is a community. It’s like I won because you voted for me and it really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment. I can still see Questlove’s eyes – it happened on Questlove’s award – and I’m sorry isn’t really sufficient.” He ended speaking about how his “central trauma” is connected to disappointing people, and promising to bring light and “spread joy” in the world.
Watch the video below:
TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!