Will Smith officially apologized for the shocking moment at Sunday’s Oscars, when he responded to Chris Rock’s joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hairstyle – Rock, presenting the best documentary award, cracked that he couldn’t wait to see her in GI Jane 2 — by charging the stage and slapping the comedian in the face.
“Violence in any form is toxic and destructive. My behavior at the Oscars last night was unacceptable and inexcusable,” Smith wrote on Instagram. “Making jokes at my expense is part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. about and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions are not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.
As Pinkett Smith has noted in the past, she struggles with alopecia.
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all of the participants and everyone watching around the world,” Smith continued. “I would like to apologize to the Williams family and to my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior tainted what has been an otherwise magnificent journey for all of us. I am a work in progress.”
He signed it, “sincerely, Will.”
Despite a brief discussion between show producers and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officials about whether to expel Smith from the ceremony, the show ultimately went ahead and Smith won the award for best actor moments later for his portrayal of Richard Wiliams, the father. tennis greats Serena and Venus Williams. Upon accepting it, he burst into tears.
“While making this film, I had to protect Aunjanue Ellis, who is one of the strongest and most delicate people I have ever met. I had to protect Saniyya and Demi, the two actresses who played Venus and Serena my life to love people and protect people and be a river to my people,” he said. “I know to do what we do, you have to be able to take abuse and you have to be able to make people talk about you like crazy. In this business, you have to be able to have people who disrespect you and you have to smile and you have to act like it’s okay.”
He noted that fellow candidate Denzel Washington offered advice after the altercation, saying, “At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.” Smith said he wanted to be a “vessel of love”.
Smith took the opportunity to apologize to the Academy and the other nominees. However, he did not apologize to Rock.
According to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department, Rock declined to press charges. Although Sean “Diddy” Combs later indicated that the two had worked it out, a source close to Rock insisted the men hadn’t spoken Monday morning.
There was no immediate comment from Rock following Smith’s apology.
Smith, meanwhile, faces possible censorship from his peers. The Academy and SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, condemned the attack and said Monday they had launched separate investigations into the incident that could result in some form of punishment for Smith.