Serena Williams Reflects on Will Smith's Oscars Slap Almost One Year Later

In a conversation with Gayle King on 'CBS Mornings,' Serena Williams addressed Will Smith’s Oscars slap almost a year on from when it happened.

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In a conversation with Gayle King on CBS Mornings, Serena Williams addressed Will Smith’s Oscars slap almost a year on from when it happened.

Smith depicted Williams’ father Richard in King Richard, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. What should’ve been a big moment for Smith was overshadowed due to him slapping Chris Rock over a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair earlier in the night. Speaking with King, the former Tennis superstar defended Smith but acknowledged he made a mistake.

"I thought it was such an incredible film, and I feel that there was an incredible film after that with Questlove that kind of was overshadowed," Williams said. "But I also feel that I've been in a position where I've been under a lot of pressure and I've made a tremendous amount of mistakes, and I’m the kind of person that’s like, 'I've been there. I've made a mistake. It's not the end of the world.'"

Williams did not address the slap when it happened on March 27, 2022, but almost everyone else had something to say about it at the time. “We’re all imperfect, and we’re all human and let’s just be kind to each other,” she continued. “That’s often forgotten a lot.”

She was in attendance at the ceremony, as was her sister Venus Williams. Smith has since apologized for the slap, but he has been banned from attending any of the Academy’s events for the next decade. “I've reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out," Smith said in a video addressing the situation. "So, I will say to you, Chris. I apologize to you, my behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."

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