Will Smith Apologizes to Chris Rock a Day After Oscar Slap

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty

Will Smith took to Instagram on Monday evening to apologize for slapping Chris Rock during the previous night’s Oscars ceremony—as the Academy began exploring the possibility of punishing him.

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote in his post, declaring it was “unacceptable and inexcusable” for him to get up from his seat, climb onstage, and hit Rock across the face after the comedian cracked wise about his wife in an apparently unrehearsed bit.

“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,” Smith continued, nearly a full day after he failed to do just that during his live apology on the Oscars telecast.

“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.”

Calling himself “a work in progress,” Smith reiterated the apology he had made Sunday night to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts the Oscars, when he accepted the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’ father in the tennis biopic King Richard.

“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said then, while clutching his gold statuette. “In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.”

Smith ended his speech, in which he pointedly did not address Rock, by quipping: “I hope the Academy invites me back.”

Will Smith’s Chris Rock Slap Is Far From the Worst Moment in Oscars History

On Monday afternoon, the academy board “initiated a formal review around the incident.” Smith faces the possibility of having his membership suspended, or—more likely, according to The Hollywood Reporterbeing sanctioned. It is highly unlikely he will have to give his Oscar back, sources told the outlet.

Rock was presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature when he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head. “Jada, I love you,” Rock said. “G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it!”

Pinkett Smith, who has suffered from the hair-loss condition alopecia since 2018, rolled her eyes. Smith, sitting next to her, appeared to smile. The cameras then cut away, next catching the actor as he was halfway onstage, moving to confront Rock.

Howard Stern Goes Off on Will Smith, Compares Him to Trump

After the slap, Smith returned to his seat. As a bewildered Rock struggled to regain his composure, Smith twice yelled for the comedian to keep his wife’s “fucking name out of your mouth!”

The evening’s next presenter, Sean “Diddy” Combs, urged Rock and Smith to reconcile and “solve this like family” at the afterparty.

It is unclear if the two spoke after the ceremony, but they appeared to be attending separate events, with Rock “still in shock” at talent manager Guy Oseary’s soirée, according to Entertainment Tonight, and an enthusiastic Smith dancing like nobody was watching at the Vanity Fair party.

As the actor and his entourage entered the room, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” Smith’s own 1997 hit, began blaring from the speakers, courtesy of D-Nice. “I just wanted to say congratulations, Will,” the DJ shouted over the mic, according to The Washington Post.

Will Smith’s Violent Outburst Made the Oscars Impossible to Love

Smith—Oscar in hand—moved smoothly to the center of the room, flanked by Pinkett Smith, daughter Willow, and sons Trey and Jaden. A circle formed around the family to cheer them on as they boogied down, Vanity Fair reported.

Smith received a number of high-fives and hugs throughout the night from other stars in attendance, like Lupita Nyong’o, Trevor Noah, and Timothée Chalamet.

Diddy told Page Six from the party site that Smith and Rock were all good. “That’s not a problem. That’s over. I can confirm that,” he said. “It’s all love. They’re brothers.”

Whether or not the air had been cleared by that point, Rock had already declined to file a police report, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

On Monday night, Smith also apologized to the Williams family and his King Richard team.

“I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” he wrote.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.