Will Smith Breaks Silence on His Oscar Slap and Apologizes to Chris Rock

Will Smith

Will Smith has released a video with a title card that reads, “It’s been a minute…” In that video, the actor talks about his actions at the Oscar where he walked up on stage and slap Chris Rock. Out of everything that happened at the Oscars this year, that will be the one thing that everyone will remember.

Smith apologizes to Rock in the video as well as others, saying, “It’s been a minute… Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work… You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.”

Smith said what he did, noting he didn’t apologize to Rock in his acceptance speech because he was “fogged out at that point.” He said, “It’s all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is he is not ready to talk,. And when he is, he will reach out. So, I will say to you Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”

Smith went on to apologize to Rock’s family. “I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I saw an interview that Chris’s mother did, and that was one of the things about that moment. I didn’t realize and I wasn’t thinking [about] how many people got hurt at that moment. I want to apologize to Chris’s mother, I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man, and this is probably irreparable.”

Rock’s mother, Rosalie Rock, previously said in a past interview, “When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me. You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye and you went and made her day because she was mulled over laughing when it happened.”

Smith went on to say that he’s been working on himself since the ceremony, and realized that what he did that night was wrong. “I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment. And I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you [that] there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at that moment. There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”

Smith added the choice he made was “his own” and says that his wife, Jada, had nothing to do with it. He ended the apology video by saying that he’s “human” and he “made a mistake,” but he is “trying not to think of [himself] as a piece of shit.”

He ended the video by saying he’s “committed to putting light, and love, and joy, into the world, and if you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again.”

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