Roughly four months and 72,000 news cycles after the infamous Oscars slap, Will Smith has publicly commented on the situation in a video.
If you’ve forgotten the details, in one of the biggest sparks for internet discourse in the last five years, Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Academy Awards.
The slap came after Rock made a pretty fkd joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair-loss. Smith got on stage, slapped Rock across the face and shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth”.
The situation got the entire world into an absolutely tizzy and Smith was banned from attending the Oscars for the next decade.
Now Smith’s posted an official apology video and revealed that he’s tried to reach out to slappee Chris Rock.
The video answered some of the big questions the world’s been asking since the slap.
Chief amongst those is why Smith didn’t apologise to Rock when he accepted his Oscar for Best Actor. He won for his performance in King Richard.
“I was fogged out by that point — it’s all fuzzy,” he said.
“I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk.
“When he is, he will reach out.”
He also addressed the frankly pretty silly rumour that Jada Pinkett Smith asked him to slap Chris Rock. She was seen rolling her eyes after Rock’s joke, a fair response IMO.
Smith made it clear that Jada had nothing to do with the slap. Can we please just let men take accountability for their own actions?
“It’s like, I made a choice on my own from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,” he said.
“Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry babe.”
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In the video, Smith apologised to a number of people including Rock and his family.
“I will say to you Chris, I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
Smith has also previously apologised to Rock. He dropped an apology via Instagram the day after the slap.
“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,” he said at the time.
In his video, Smith specifically apologised to Rock’s mum and his brother Tony Rock.
“I wanna apologise to Chris’s mother,” he said.
“I didn’t realise how many people got hurt in that moment.”
He described him and Tony Rock as having a “great relationship”.
“Tony Rock was my man. And this is probably irreparable.”
Smith said he’d spent the last months “replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment”.
He also clarified that “there is no part of me that thinks this is the right way to behave”.
Another apology went out to Questlove. Rock was introducing the award for Best Documentary Feature — which Questlove won for Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) — when the slap happened. Slappened, you could say.
“I can still see Questlove’s eyes. It happened on Questlove’s award,” Smith said.
“I’m sorry really isn’t sufficient.”
Smith touched on how the whole incident has impacted him.
“Disappointing people is my central trauma,” he said.
“I hate when I let people down, so it hurts me psychologically and emotionally that I didn’t live up to peoples’ image and impression of me.
“I am deeply remorseful and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself.
“I’m human and I made a mistake and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of shit.”
Only one question remains: who will play Will Smith and Chris Rock in the gritty A24 biopic of the Oscars Slap?