Will Smith Issues Apology to Chris Rock After Slapping the Comedian at Oscars: 'I Reacted Emotionally’

Will Smith penned a public apology to Chris Rock and the Academy after he slapped Rock during the Oscars for joking about Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will Smith accepts the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
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HOLLYWOOD, CA - March 27, 2022. Will Smith accepts the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for "King Richard" during the show at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 27, 2022. (Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Will Smith accepts the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role

Will Smith issued an apology to Chris Rock Monday after the actor slapped him at the 94th Academy Awards over a joke the comedian made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.

Smith also apologized to the Academy, the producers of the awards show, and the Williams family in his post, which was shared to social media.

“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” Smith wrote in his open letter. “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.”

Smith said that he “reacted emotionally” after hearing Rock’s joke.

“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.”

You can read Smith’s post in full below.

Smith didn’t publicly apologize to Rock during the show, but when accepting his award for Best Actor, the actor did say he was sorry to the Academy and his fellow nominees during his speech.

“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all of my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment, and I’m not crying for winning an award,” he said. “It’s not about winning an award for me; it’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people.”

The Academy also announced on Monday that they would be conducting a “formal review” to “explore consequences” after Smith’s actions.

“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,” the statement read.

As of the writing of this story, Rock has yet to reply to Smith’s apology or speak publicly about the incident.

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