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Will Smith releases surprise video apology to Chris Rock months after Oscars slap: ‘My behaviour was unacceptable’

Will Smith has shared a lengthy apology to Chris Rock following the Oscars slap drama, earlier this year.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor famously stormed on stage at the ceremony after the comedian made a joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.

He slapped the Everybody Hates Chris actor before returning to the audience, warning him to ‘keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth’.

In a new video shared on YouTube, the star – who later won his first Oscar for his role in King Richard – spoke candidly about the incident, apologizing to all those impacted, including Jada and their family.

Will and wife Jada Pinkett Smith

‘It’s been a minute… Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work…,’ a message read.

‘You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.’

Reflecting on why he didn’t apologize to Chris in his winning Oscar speech, he said: ‘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’ll reach out.

‘I will say to you Chris, I apologize to you, my behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.’

Will also directed his comments to Chris’ family, after his mom shared her anger at the situation, and said that it was like he had slapped her in that moment.

‘I wanna apologize to Chris’ mother,’ he continued. ‘I saw an interview Chris’ mother did and that was one of the things about that moment I just didn’t realize, I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt in that moment, so I want to apologize to Chris’ mother.

‘I want to apologize to Chris’ family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship, Tony Rock was my man, and this is probably irreparable.

‘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 – there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at that moment.

Will stormed on stage at the ceremony and slapped Chris Rock over a joke he made about Jada Pinkett Smith

Why didn’t you apologize to Chris in your acceptance speech?

‘I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy. I have reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that 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 am here whenever you’re ready to talk.

‘I wanna apologize to Chris’ mother. I saw an interview Chris’ mother did and that was one of the things about that moment I just didn’t realize, I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt in that moment, so I want to apologize to Chris’ mother.

‘I want to apologize to Chris’ family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship, Tony Rock was my man, and this is probably irreparable.

‘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, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment.

‘There is no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle feelings of disrespect or insults.’

After Jada rolled her eyes, did she tell you to do something?

‘No. 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. I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us.

‘To all my fellow nominees. This is a community, I won because you voted for me. 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.

‘I’m sorry really isn’t sufficient.’

What would you say to the people who looked up to you before the slap or people who expressed that you let them down?

‘There’s two things. One – Disappointing people is my central trauma. I hate when I let people down. So it hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me.

‘And the work I’m trying to do is, I am deeply remorseful and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I’m human and I made a mistake and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s**t.

‘I would say to those people, I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking. But I promise you I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world.

‘If you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again.’

‘There is no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.’

The world was reeling when Will walked on stage during the ceremony in March, after the Chris made a joke about Jada’s buzzcut, comparing her to ‘GI Jane’ – the Scream 2 actress has previously been open about her struggles with alopecia.

Following the incident, he was able to collect his best actor trophy but failed to mention the slap in his bizarre speech, and did not apologize while on stage.

In the days following the awards, he took to social media to share a statement, which read: ‘Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.

‘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.’

‘I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. 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.

Author: Seyi Awoleye

Los-Angeles, USA

seyiawoleye@yahoo.com

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