Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock for slapping him at the Oscars: “My behavior was unacceptable.  I was wrong’

The next day slapping Chris Rock on the Oscars stage and overturning the 94th Academy AwardsWill Smith issued an apology to the comedian, the academy and the viewers at home, saying he was “out of place” and that his actions are “not indicative of the man I want to be”.

The fallout from Smith’s actions at Sunday’s ceremony continued Monday as Hollywood and the public continued to wrestle with a moment that stunned the Dolby Theater crowd and viewers at home. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences condemned Smith for hitting Rock, who made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and said it would launch an investigation.

Later that day, Smith issued a stronger apology than in his Best Actor acceptance speech, which notably did not include an apology to Rock.


“Violence in any form is toxic and destructive,” Smith said in a statement released by her publicist and posted on Instagram. “My behavior at the Oscars last night was unacceptable and inexcusable. 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. to publicly apologize, Chris. I was out of place and 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.

The 53-year-old actor has apologized to the film academy, broadcast producers, attendees, viewers and the Williams family. Smith was honored Sunday for his role as Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena, in “King Richard.”

“I’m a work in progress,” Smith added.

After calling a meeting of the board of governors on Monday to discuss the incident, the film academy said it was reviewing Smith’s actions and “will explore further actions and consequences consistent with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law”. The Los Angeles Police Department said Sunday it was aware of the incident but was not pursuing an investigation because the person involved refused to file a police report.

Smith shocked the Dolby Theater crowd and viewers at home when he took the stage after Rock, appearing as presenter, joked, “Jada, I love you. ‘GI Jane 2,’ I can’t wait to see it.


The joke struck a chord. Pinkett Smith, whose head is shaved, has spoken publicly about her diagnosis of alopecia. Smith came on stage and slapped Rock in the face. Back in his seat, Smith twice yelled at Rock to “get my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.” His words resonated clearly throughout Dolby, although broadcaster ABC muted the sound for about 15 seconds. Within an hour, Smith won Best Actor, receiving a standing ovation. During her five-minute acceptance speech, Smith spoke about standing up for her family. He also apologized to the academy.

Rock’s joke was not part of his routine during pre-show rehearsals, according to two sources close to the production who were not authorized to speak publicly.

But Rock had already joked about Pinkett Smith. He hosted the 2016 Oscars, when some boycotted the ceremony over the group of #OscarsSoWhite nominees, including the Smiths. Then said Rock: “Jada is boycotting the Oscars, it’s like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I was not invited.

Smith’s actions rocked a pivotal Oscars ceremony. Until then, producer Will Packer had helmed a tidy, light-hearted TV show that the academy hoped would restore the Oscars after last year’s record ratings. Sunday’s ceremony reached an estimated 15.36 million viewers, according to preliminary figures from the Nielsen Company on Monday. Although this was a marked improvement from last year’s 9.85 million viewers, it was still the least-watched Oscar.

Some members of the academy, such as writer-producer Marshall Herskovitz, called on the academy to take disciplinary action against Smith.

“He disgraced our entire community tonight,” Herskovitz wrote on Twitter.

Academy board member Whoopi Goldberg said on ‘The View’ on Monday: “We’re not going to take that Oscar away from him. There will be consequences, I’m sure.

The Screen Actors Guild also weighed in. The film, television and radio union called the incident “unacceptable”. SAG said he has been in contact with the academy and ABC, and he does not comment on the guild’s disciplinary process.

A sense of disbelief hung in the air at the Dolby Theater after Smith’s assault. Not only was it a hard-to-understand break with decorum on live national television — an incident so dramatic, even movie-like, that many at first assumed it was a bit of a set-up. scene — it seemed totally out of place for one of Hollywood’s most relentless films. optimistic stars. And it came less than an hour before Smith might hit the pinnacle of his career, winning his first Oscar, for Best Actor.

will forge Sean Combs, from left, Will Smith and Tyler Perry appear in the audience at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

“In a way, I feel bad for Will Smith too, because I think he let his emotions get the better of him, and it should have been one of the great nights of his life,” he said. said former Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel on Simmons’ Bill Podcast. “And now that is no longer the case. Was there anyone in the world who didn’t like Will Smith an hour ago? Like no one, right? Now he doesn’t have a single comedian friend, that’s for sure.

Some have questioned whether Smith should have been allowed to continue to sit front and center after hitting Rock. Several stars rushed to advise and calm Smith down, including Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper and Tyler Perry. But the timing was extremely awkward as the Best Actor category was due to arrive soon after, and Smith had long been considered a lock for the award.

“I know we’re all still processing, but the way casual violence has been normalized tonight by a collective national audience will have consequences we can’t even imagine right now,” Janai Nelson wrote, president and director-advisor of the NAACP. Legal Defense Fund, on Twitter.

The drama overshadowed some historic Oscar wins. The deaf family drama CODA became the first film with a mostly Deaf cast to win Best Picture. For the first time, a streaming service, Apple TV+, has won Hollywood’s highest accolade, signaling a profound change in Hollywood and in cinema. The victories of Ariana DeBose of West Side Story, Troy Kotsur of CODA and Jane Campion, director of The Power of the Dog, had all made history.

Others have come to Smith’s defense, including Tiffany Haddish, who co-starred with Pinkett Smith on Girls Trip.

“Maybe the world might not like how it happened, but for me it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen because it made me believe that there still have men who love and care about their wives, their wives,” Haddish told People magazine.

After the show, Smith posed for photos with her family outside of the Vanity Fair party. Inside, cellphone videos captured him dancing to “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” while holding his Oscar. Their son Jaden tweeted: “And that’s how we do it.” On Instagram, Smith posted, “Me and Jada Pinkett Smith all dressed up to choose chaos.”

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