Will Smith has formally apologized to Chris Rock in a statement posted to his Instagram, saying that he was “out of line and I was wrong” for slapping him at the Oscars Sunday night.
The “King Richard” star also called his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable” and again apologized to the Academy and producers of the show.
“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,” he wrote.
The Academy earlier on Monday launched a “formal review” of the actor’s actions, and SAG-AFTRA also called out Smith’s behavior as unacceptable. Smith had previously apologized during his Oscars speech to the Academy and to his fellow nominees, but not to Rock.
“This is a beautiful moment, and I am not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me,” Smith said following a standing ovation and in a speech in which he compared himself to his “King Richard” character. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like Richard Williams … but love will make you do crazy things.”
Smith also apologized to the “King Richard” family of creatives and to the real life Williams family. Venus and Serena Williams were both seated for Smith’s acceptance speech, and Richard Williams through a representative earlier on Monday likewise said he doesn’t “condone” any acts of violence.
The “King Richard” star on Sunday walked onto the stage after Rock joked that Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, should star in a “G.I. Jane” sequel due to her bald head.
“Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me,” Rock said to the audience, in a slight state of disbelief, as Smith walked back to his seat.
“Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth,” Smith, back in his seat, yelled in response, to which Rock tried to defend himself, saying: “Wow, dude. It was a f—ing ‘G.I. Jane’ joke.”
See Will Smith’s full Instagram post below: