Will Smith Posts Emotional Apology About Chris Rock Slap: ‘It’s Been a Minute…’ (Video)

·3-min read

Will Smith has broken his silence and openly apologized to Chris Rock, posting an emotional video Friday in which he goes through a series of questions addressing his slap of Rock on the Oscars stage just minutes before he would win the Best Actor Oscar.

Smith said that he reached out to Rock but received a message in return that Rock will reach out when he’s ready to talk.

“I apologize to you, my behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk,” the “King Richard” actor said. “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 a feeling of disrespect or insult.”

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Smith during the Oscars last month walked onto the stage and slapped Rock after the comedian joked that Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, should star in a “G.I. Jane” sequel due to her closely shaved head. He then twice shouted from his seat, “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth.”

As a result, Smith was banned from the Oscars for 10 years, and Smith also resigned from his Academy membership, though his Oscar was not revoked and he won’t be restricted from being eligible for future awards.

Smith addressed the incident onstage after he had won his Oscar, and he further posted a series of written apology statements, but Friday’s video is the first time he’s addressed it publicly on camera since Oscar night, and he has yet to do any press following the slap.

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During the video, Smith was also asked if Pinkett Smith asked him to react in the moment, seeing as Rock’s joke came at the expense of Jada’s alopecia, which he firmly denied. He also further apologized to his fellow nominees and winners at the Oscars, particularly Questlove, who won his Oscar for Best Documentary Feature immediately following the slap on stage.

“I made a choice on my own from my own experiences, from my history with Chris, Jada had nothing to do with it,” he said. “It really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment…I’m sorry isn’t really sufficient.”

Smith finally addressed his fans and people who look up to him as a role model in Hollywood, saying that he was “deeply remorseful” of his behavior.

“I am deeply remorseful and trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I made a mistake. I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s—,” he concluded. “I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking, but I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and joy and love into the world. If you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again.”

Check out the full video above.

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