Actor Will Smith posted a YouTube video on Friday apologizing for striking presenter Chris Rock during the live TV broadcast of this year’s Oscars. Audiences around the world watched Smith take the stage after Rock remarked on Smith’s wife’s cropped haircut. Smith slapped Rock in the face, then sat in the audience and yelled swear words at him.
Smith went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his lead role in the film. King Richard. But a few days later, he resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which then banned him from its events for 10 years.
“Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk,” Smith said Friday in the moving video, adding that he contacted Rock and was told that the actor was not yet ready. ready.
Earlier this week, Rock reportedly tackled the slap on his stand-up show in New Jersey. “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock allegedly joked, adding that he wasn’t a victim and got away with it. “I’m not going to the hospital for a paper cut.”
Hours after the infamous slap, Smith had written Rock an apology on Instagram. But it was his first video message.
“There’s no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at that time,” he said. “There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the best way to deal with feeling disrespected or insulted.”
Facing the camera, Smith sighed several times and seemed to hold back tears. He addressed questions that have been raised, such as: Why didn’t you apologize to Chris in your acceptance speech? “I was foggy at the time,” he replied.
Smith said he responded to Rock’s joke about his wife’s fashionably cropped hair, similar to the style sported by Demi Moore in the movie G.I. Jane. Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from hair loss and has publicly spoken about her battle with alopecia.
“After Jada rolled her eyes, did she tell you to do anything?” was another question Smith answered in the video. “I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,” he said. “Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, baby.”
Smith also apologized to Rock’s mother, Rose, and his brother Tony, once a good friend of his. He also said he was sorry for musician Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, who picked up his Best Documentary Oscar for soul summer moments after the famous slap. “It really breaks my heart that I stole and tarnished your moment,” Smith said, speaking to Questlove. “And, you know, it’s like, ‘I’m sorry’ really isn’t enough.”
Smith said over the past few months he’s brought up the Oscars incident many times, trying to work on himself. He closed the video message saying he hates letting people down.
“I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking,” Smith said. “But I promise you, I’m deeply dedicated and committed to bringing light and love and joy into the world. And, you know, if you hang in there, I promise you we can be friends again.”