It’s been four months since this year’s Academy Awards where, quite famously, Will Smith got on stage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair — shortly before Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor. In just about any other situation, someone who gets on a stage and hits a comedian during their act definitely gets removed from the building, and probably gets arrested. Smith was allowed to remain in his seat, collect his Oscar, and give an acceptance speech. It was a truly surreal moment.
In the aftermath of the incident. Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and then was banned from attending the Oscars for ten years. He did release a statement at that time calling his actions “shocking, painful, and inexcusable” but now he has released a five-minute video to YouTube where he looks directly into the camera and apologizes for his actions while answering several questions about that night and its aftermath.
Smith claims he didn’t apologize to Chris Rock during his acceptance speech at the Oscars because he was “fogged out” by that point in the night. (“It’s all fuzzy,” Smith says now.) Smith says he reached out to Rock to make an apology and was told “he’s not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out.”
“Chris, I apologize to you,” Smith then adds. “My behavior was unacceptable. And I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.” He also apologized to Rock’s mother and his brother Tony.
At the end of the video, in response to a question about what he would say to his fans who felt let down by his actions on Oscar night, he said “I am deeply remorseful, and I am trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I’m human. I made a mistake. And I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s—. So I would say to those people I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking. But I promise you I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world.”
Time will tell whether Rock agrees to speak to Smith or accept his apology.
The Best Oscar Best Picture Winners Ever
More than 90 films have earned the title of Best Picture from the Academy Awards. These are the best of the best.