Will Smith has issued an official response following his assault on Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday (March 27). In a statement shared to his social media, Smith called his actions “unacceptable” and apologized to the legendary comedian.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
He closed out his statement by apologizing again to the Academy as it begins an “inquiry” into Smith’s actions.
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family,” he continued. “I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress.”
The statement comes after Smith stormed the Dolby Theatre stage after Chris Rock had teased his wife Jada Pinkett Smith for her bald head, a condition caused by alopecia. Smith slapped Rock across the face before screaming, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”
Shortly after the outburst, Smith won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in King Richard, where he portrayed the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. The former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star was overcome with emotion and apologized to the Academy for his actions during his acceptance speech.
“I want to apologize to the Academy, I wanna apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he said in closing. “This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people … art imitates life. I look like the crazy father. Love will make you do crazy things.”
Will Smith’s Oscar speech. pic.twitter.com/XF7PeO01wp
— Temur Durrani (@temurdur) March 28, 2022