Will Smith breaks silence to issue apology to Chris Rock over Oscars slap

He spoke directly to the camera in the video posted on Instagram.
Will Smith breaks silence to issue apology to Chris Rock over Oscars slap

By Alex Green, PA Acting Deputy Entertainment Editor

Will Smith has apologised to Chris Rock over his infamous Oscars slap in his first public statement in three months.

In a video posted on Instagram, he spoke directly to the camera and answered a series of questions about the incident on March 27th.

Asked why he did not apologise to Rock during his best actor acceptance speech, he said: “I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith)

“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 apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable, and I am here whenever you are ready to talk.”

Smith also apologised to Rock’s mother and father, adding: “I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened in that moment.

“And I’m not going to try and 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 in that moment. There is no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle feelings of disrespect or insults.”

Smith was banned from all Academy events or programmes for 10 years following his “unprecedented” behaviour at the 94th Academy Awards.

It came after Smith stormed the stage and slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair loss as a result of the medical condition alopecia.

Shortly after the altercation, Smith returned to the stage to collect the gong for best actor for his performance in King Richard, his first Academy award, which he has been allowed to keep.

Two days on from the incident, Smith issued a public apology to Rock and the Oscars production team, admitting he reacted “emotionally” to the joke and saying that “violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive”.

Pinkett Smith also called for a “season of healing” on her own social media post.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more