In his video message, the actor said that he now realises that it wasn’t the right way to behave.
Much has been discussed about the shocking event that took place between actor Will Smith and comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscard Awards. Several people shared their versions and feelings, but the ‘The Pursuit Of Happiness’ actor never did.
On Friday, the Hollywood star finally broke his silence. He took to Instagram to share a video explaining how he spent the last three months replaying the slap episode in his mind.
Remembering his acceptance speech, the actor said that he had ‘fogged out’ by that time. “It’s all fuzzy,” he recalled.
His apology video came a couple of days after Rock addressed the infamous altercation during his performance at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face…I’m not a victim,” he said
Dressed in a white polo shirt and white ball cap, Smith said that he spent the last three months understanding the complexities of what had happened at the Oscars stage. “There is no part of me that thinks that it was the right way to behave or handle a feeling of disrespect or insults in that moment,” he said.
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In the nearly six-minute-long video, Smith said that he had reached out to Rock, but the stand-up comedian wasn’t ready to talk to him yet. He also said that he was told that Rock will reach out when he is ready to talk.
“I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable. I am here whenever you are ready to talk,” he could be heard saying.
Smith further extended his apology to the Rock family. He said he saw an interview that Rosalie (Rock’s mother) did where was disappointed with Smith’s actions. “I didn’t realise and thinking it through how many people got hurt in that moment,” he said in his apology to the Rocks.
The 53-year-old said he had a strong bond with Rock’s brother Tony, which may have been affected by his actions. “I want to apologise to Chris’s family, specifically Tony. We had a great relationship. Tony was my man. And this is probably irreparable.”
Smith also shared that his wife did nothing to encourage his slap. “Jada had nothing to do with it,” he said. “I made a choice on my own from my experience and history with Chris.” Pinkett Smith had revealed that she is suffering from alopecia areata, a hair-loss disorder.
He also apologised to his children – Jaden, Willow and Trey – for the heat that he brought on all. He extended his apology to fellow Oscar-nominees too to have ‘stolen and tarnished’ their moment. He mentioned Questlove’s name in the video and said he still remembers his eyes. It was musician-director’s documentary win for ‘Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)’ that was interrupted by the slap. Rock was on stage to present the award.
“I know ‘I am sorry’ isn’t sufficient,” Smith said in the video, adding that he is hurting because he hasn’t lived up to fans’ impressions. “Disappointing people is my central trauma. I hate when I let people down. It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me.”
“I am deeply remorseful. I am trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I am human and I made a mistake. I am trying not to think of myself as a piece of s**t. I know it was confusing and shocking. I promise you that I am deeply devoted to putting light, love and joy into the world. If you hang on, I promise we will be able to be friends again,” he concluded his post.
Since the Oscars 2022 incident, in which Smith punched presenter and comedian Chris Rock on the Dolby Theatre stage after he made a G.I. Jane joke about Jada Pinkett’s baldness, Smith has apologised three times in various forms.
Following the altercation, the Academy banned Smith from attending the Oscars or any other Academy event for 10 years. Smith apologised to Rock in a statement after the Oscars, saying he was ‘out of line and I was wrong’.
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