Will Smith says ‘there’s no part of me that thinks it was the right way to behave at that time’ as he explains his decision to slap Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars earlier this year .
In a new Instagram video of a few minutes, the King Richard The star answers a series of questions about that night, offering Rock another apology while discussing the impact it had on Rock’s family, if he responded to Jada Pinkett’s eye roll when he took to the stage, the effects of his actions on the night of other nominees and winners and more.
“I was steamed up at the time,” Smith says, explaining why it took so long to apologize to Rock. “Everything is blurry. I contacted Chris and the message that came back is that he is not ready to talk. And when he is, he will stretch out his hand.
Smith goes on to say that he’s “here whenever you’re ready to talk,” before apologizing to Rock’s mother and brother, Tony Rock.
“That was one of the things about that moment. I just didn’t realize,” Smith recalled. “I didn’t think but how many people were hurt in that moment. So I want to I want to apologize to Chris’ mom. I want to apologize to Chris’ family. Specifically, Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. You know, Tony Rock was my man and it’s probably beyond repair.
Smith also answered a question about whether his reaction was in response to Jada’s eye rolling following Rock’s joke about his baldness, which many noted was a sensitive topic due to his alopecia.
“I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences of my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do [with it]”Smith said, before acknowledging the “heat” his wife and children have endured.
Near the end of the video, Smith explains how his actions impacted his fellow nominees, noting that “I won because you voted for me.”
“It really breaks my heart that I stole and tarnished your moment,” Smith said, pointing to the reaction of Questlove, who took the Oscars stage right after the incident for winning Best Documentary for his project. . soul summer. “Sorry isn’t really enough.”
He ends the video by taking what he would say to people who looked up to him before the Oscars incident. Smith calls disappointing people “my core trauma” and notes that he hates “when I let people down”.
“So it hurts. It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know that I haven’t lived up to the image and the impression that people have of me,” he continues, adding that he is “deeply remorseful” but tries to do it “without being ashamed” of himself.”I’m human and I made a mistake, and I’m trying not to think of myself as shit.”
“I would say to these people, I know it was confusing. I know it was shocking. But I promise you that I am deeply dedicated and committed to bringing light, love and joy into the world,” Smith offers as an endnote. “And if you hang in there, I promise you we can be friends again.”
It is the third apology in some form that Smith has issued since the incident at the 2022 Oscars, in which the best actor winner took to the stage at the Dolby Theater and slapped presenter and comedian Rock after making an unscripted joke by GI Jane about Jada Pinkett’s baldness.
Smith made a tear-filled statement the night he accepted his best acting win for his role as Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard Williams – although he didn’t mention Rock. He then released a statement on his social media specifically apologizing to Rock, while also acknowledging how the joke prompted his behavior.
“Making jokes at my expense is part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” he wrote in the post. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of place and I was 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.
Since then, Smith has announced that he is resigning from the Academy and has been banned from appearing at Academy events for 10 years. He is, however, still eligible for future Oscar nominations and wins, and will retain the Oscar he won at the 2022 ceremony.
Several of Smith’s upcoming projects are apparently in limbo. fast and loose, which centers on a crime boss who loses his memory, had already lost its director before the Oscar incident, but sources say has been quietly put on the back burner by Netflix. sony bad boys 4also in active development during Oscars season, has also been put on hiatus, source says The Hollywood Reporter.
Smith is also set to star in the action thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua Emancipation. Based on a true story, the film follows an enslaved man who escapes from a Louisiana plantation before heading north to join the Union Army. It’s in post-production at Apple, but currently doesn’t have a release date despite being slated for release later this year.
Sources at the time described Smith’s performance as another award-worthy performance, but the Oscars incident was thought to have derailed those exit plans, with no word on whether Smith would be welcome back. Last week, however, reports online suggested that Apple could indeed release the film sometime in 2022.
Borys Kit contributed to this story.