Will Smith Publicly Apologizes to Chris Rock for Oscars Slap: ‘I Was Out of Line and I Was Wrong’

Will Smith issued a public apology to Chris Rock and the Academy for the Oscars slap that went viral last night.

Rock made a distasteful joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith while presenting at the Academy Awards, joking about her shaved head. He said she looked like “G.I. Jane.” Pinkett Smith has been vocal about having alopecia, a hair loss condition. Smith reacted by going up on stage and hitting Rock in the face. He returned to his seat and then yelled to Rock after, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*cking mouth!”

In the hours after the broadcast, the Academy announced it was beginning a formal review of Smith’s conduct. “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the statement, obtained by People this afternoon, read. “We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”

Rock declined to press charges against Smith, according to the LAPD.

Smith shared his statement on his Instagram this evening, his first public comment since the moment transpired. He wrote:

Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. 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.

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. 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.


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