Will Smith is speaking out for the first time since hitting Chris Rock onstage at the 94th Academy Awards. The Oscar winner shared a statement in a March 28, 2022, Instagram post.
“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,” the “King Richard” actor wrote.
He continued, “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,” his statement read. “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,” Smith concluded his apology. “Sincerely, Will.”
The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor also shared the statement on his Instagram Story.
The Los Angeles Police Department revealed Rock declined to file a police report.
Smith Hit Rock After He Joked About Wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s Hair
In the most talked-about moment of the night, Rock joked that Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith would appear in a sequel to the 1997 film “G.I. Jane.” The comment seemingly referenced the actress’ baldness, since the film’s main character famously shaves her head.
Pinkett Smith previously revealed she experienced hair loss as a result of alopecia.
Despite the moment being bleeped in the United States, foreign broadcasts saw the moment unedited. A clip of the moment was shared on Instagram by Amanda Hirsch, the host of the “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast.
“Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s*** out of me,” Rock stated as Smith walked away. He went on to add, “Wow dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke.”
Smith repeatedly responded, “Keep my wife’s name out your f****** mouth.”
“I’m going to, okay,” he added. “Okay, that was the greatest night in the history of television. So we are here to give a documentary out.”
The Academy ‘Condemns’ Smith’s Actions
In the aftermath of the altercation, the Academy issued two statements.
“The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” the Oscars tweeted in the early hours of March 28, 2022. “Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
Their response was met with mixed reactions.
On Monday afternoon, the Academy released another statement condemning the actions of Smith.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. 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,” their statement read.
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