Will Smith shared a heartfelt video on social media on Friday, directly addressing the moment at the Oscars when he slapped presenter Chris Rock. An earnest-looking Smith responds to fan concerns about the fallout from the slap, which made news all around the world, in the video, the “King Richard” actor’s first response to the issue since his apologetic post in March.
It’s the first time Smith has spoken publicly about the now-famous incident that resulted in his 10-year ban from Academy functions.
Will has addressed: “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.”
He then sat down, alone in his home, and went on to explain himself, the first question asked why he didn’t apologize to Chris.
Will explained: “I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s 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.”
He went on to extend that apology to Chris’s family: “I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I saw an interview that Chris’s mother did and, you know, that was one of the things about that moment I just didn’t realize, and, you know, I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt at that moment. So I want to apologize to Chris’s mother.
“I want to apologize to Chris’s family. Specifically, Tony Rock [Chris’ younger brother]. You know, we had a great relationship. You know, Tony Rock was my man. And this is probably irreparable.”
Will continued by saying that while he wouldn’t be going into great detail in this video, he had spent the previous three months replaying and trying to comprehend the nuances of what had occurred, he assured: “But I can say to all of you, 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.”
Will clarified if Jada had “requested him to do something” and said, “that no, Jada had not asked him to do anything and that he had made the decision to slap Chris totally on his own.”