Will Smith breaks silence on Oscars slap, apologizes to Chris Rock in new video
Posted July 29, 2022 10:57 am.
Last Updated July 29, 2022 11:10 am.
A lot has happened to Will Smith since he shockingly slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars.
He resigned from the motion picture academy, was banned from the Oscars for 10 years and both Netflix and Sony got cold feet about Smith-led projects, putting them on pause in the face of his public relations nightmare.
But while his open-handed smack reverberated, Smith has remained largely silent.
That changed on Friday, when he posted an almost six-minute video to YouTube addressing the notorious incident and apologizing directly to Rock, something he was criticized for not doing during his Oscar acceptance speech.
The video begins with text that reads: “It’s been a minute … Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work … You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.”
Smith can be heard letting out a deep sigh as he settles into a couch and stares into the camera to address questions from the public.
He reads the first question: “Why didn’t you apologize to Chris in your acceptance speech?”
“I was fogged out at that point, it’s all fuzzy,” he explains. “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk and when he is he will reach out.
“So I will say to you, ‘Chris I apologize to you. My behaviour was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you are ready to talk.’ “
He went on to apologize to Rock’s mother and brother while admitting that the pain he has caused them is “probably irreparable.”
“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened in that moment.
“I can say to all of you there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”
Smith said he was not prompted by his wife, Jada, to act out after Rock made a joke poking fun at her closely cropped hairstyle — a result of suffering from alopecia.
“I made a choice on my own from my own experiences from my history with Chris, Jada had nothing to do with it,” he stressed.
“I hate when I let people down,” he later added.
“I am deeply remorseful and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I’m human and I made a mistake and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s**t.”