Will Smith is addressing Chris Rock on camera for the first time since slapping the comedian onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Four months after Will took the stage at the Oscars and smacked Rock across the face, he shared a video to YouTube, Instagram and Facebook on Friday, in which he apologizes to Rock again and tells him, “I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
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“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 will reach out,” Will said. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
Addressing why he didn’t apologize to Rock in his Oscars acceptance speech for Best Actor, Will said, “I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy.”
The King Richard actor went on to say that he also wants to apologize to Rock’s mom: “I saw an interview that his mother did. That’s one of the things about that moment I didn’t realize, I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment.”
“So I want to apologize to Chris’s mother I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock [Chris’s younger brother]. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. This is probably irreparable,” Will said.
At the March 27 ceremony, before his win for Best Actor, Will walked onstage and hit Rock on live television after taking issue with a joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
Smith said in the video that Jada did not influence his decision to slap Rock. He also apologized to his family for the “heat I brought on all of us.”
Since the incident Smith has resigned from the Academy. He also apologized to his fellow actors and nominees.
“You voted for me and it really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment,” he said before specifically apologizing to Questlove whose film Summer of Soul won “Best Documentary” right after the slap occurred.
“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the complexities and nuances of what happened,” Smith added. “I’m not gonna try to unpack all of that right now but I can say to you, there was no part of me that thought that was the right way to behave in that moment.”
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