Will Smith took to social media on Monday to formally apologize to Chris Rock for slapping him during Sunday’s Academy Award ceremony, calling his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable.” The incident took place prior to Smith accepting the award for best actor later in the evening.
“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 in a post on Instagram.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong.”
Smith took umbrage with a joke made by Rock about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith for her bald head. Pinkett-Smith has openly talked about having a hair loss condition. After Smith hit him, Rock said: “Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me.”
Smith repeatedly yelled at Rock to “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—– mouth.”
When he accepted his Oscar, he apologized to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as his fellow nominees. He didn’t mention Rock.
The Academy said Monday it condemns the actions of Smith during Sunday’s Oscars and plans to launch a formal review of his actions.
In a statement Monday, the film academy said: “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. 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.”
Rock has declined to press charges over the incident, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Here is Smith’s full statement:
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.