Will Smith says “there’s no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at that time” when explaining his decision to slap Chris Rock at the March 2022 Oscars.
In a new Instagram video, the King Richard the star answers a series of questions about that night, offering yet another excuse for Rock while discussing the impact it had on Rock’s family; whether he was responding to his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s, eye roll when he took the stage; the effects of his actions on the other nominees and winners of the evening; and more.
“I was steamed up at the time,” Smith says, explaining why it took so long to apologize to Rock. “Everything is blurry. I contacted Chris, and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk. And when he is, he will stretch out his hand.
Smith addresses Rock directly, saying he’s “here whenever you’re ready to talk,” before apologizing to Rock’s mother and brother, Tony Rock.
“That was one of the things about that moment that I just didn’t realize,” Smith recalled. “I did not think of the number of people injured at that time. So, I want to apologize to Chris’ mom. I want to apologize to Chris’ family – in particular, Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. You know, Tony Rock was my man, and it’s probably beyond repair.
Smith also answered a question about whether his reaction was in response to his wife’s eye rolling following Rock’s joke about his baldness, which many noted was a sensitive topic due to his alopecia.
“I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do [with it]”Smith said, before acknowledging the ‘heat’ his wife and kids have been through.
Near the end of the video, Smith acknowledges the impact of his actions on his fellow nominees.
“It really breaks my heart that I stole and tarnished your moment,” Smith says, speaking to Questlove, who took the Oscars stage right after the incident to accept Best Documentary Feature for his project. . soul summer. “Sorry isn’t really enough.”
He ends the video by taking what he would say to people who looked up to him before the Oscars incident. Smith calls disappointing people “my core trauma” and notes that he hates “when I let people down”.
“So it hurts. It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know that I haven’t lived up to the image and the impression that people have of me,” he says, adding that he is “deeply remorseful” but tries to be so “without being ashamed” of himself. “I’m human and I made a mistake, and I try not to think of myself as shit.”
“I would say to these people: I know it was confusing. I know it was shocking. But I promise you that I am deeply dedicated and committed to bringing light, love, and joy into the world,” Smith offers as an endnote. “And if you hang in there, I promise you we can be friends again.”
It is the third apology in some form that Smith has issued since the incident at the 2022 Oscars, in which the Best Actor winner took to the stage at the Dolby Theater and slapped comedian Rock after making a unscripted film. G.I. Jane joke about Pinkett Smith’s baldness while presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature.
Smith made a tearful statement the night he accepted his Best Actor win for his role as Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard Williams in King Richard – although he didn’t mention Rock. He later released a statement on his social media specifically apologizing to Rock while acknowledging how the joke prompted his behavior.
“Making jokes at my expense is part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” he wrote in the post. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of place and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no room for violence in a world of love and kindness.
Since then, Smith has announced that he is resigning from the Academy and has been banned from appearing at Academy events for 10 years. He is, however, still eligible for future Oscar nominations and wins, and will retain the Oscar he won at the 2022 ceremony.
Several of Smith’s upcoming projects are apparently in limbo. Fast and loose, which centers on a crime boss who loses his memory, had previously lost its director before the Oscars incident, but sources say has been quietly put on the back burner by Netflix. sony bad boys 4also in active development during Oscars season, has also been put on hiatus, source says The Hollywood Reporter.
Smith is also set to star in the action thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua Emancipation. Based on a true story, the film follows an enslaved man who escapes from a Louisiana plantation before heading north to join the Union Army. It’s in post-production at Apple but currently doesn’t have a release date although it was tentatively slated for later this year.
Sources at the time described Smith’s performance as another awards-worthy performance, but the Oscars incident was thought to have derailed those exit plans, with no word on whether Smith would be welcome back. Last week, however, reports online suggested that Apple could indeed release the film sometime in 2022.
Borys Kit contributed to this story.
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