Will Smith Issues Apology to Chris Rock

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

On Monday night (March 28), nearly 24 hours after the Academy Awards in which Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock, the actor and musician issued an apology via social media.

Smith wrote on Instagram, “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 part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith wrote. “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 continued, “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.”

This marks the first apology to Rock from Smith after Smith, who won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in the tennis movie King Richard, apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees in his acceptance speech.

As American Songwriter reported yesterday, Smith approached Rock on stage after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, about her shaved head. Pinkett Smith reportedly suffers from alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss.

In his acceptance speech, Smith said, “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. 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. Tim and Trevor and Zack and Saniyya and Demi and Aunjanue and the entire cast and crew of ‘King Richard,’ Venus and Serena, the entire Williams family. Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams.”

After the slap, Smith’s publicist, along with actors Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry tried to calm him down and console him.

In his acceptance speech, Smith relayed advice Washington gave him: “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”

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