Four months after slapping the comic Chris Rock on the Oscars, stunning audiences and prompting a decade-long ban from attending the ceremony, Will Smith posted a video on Friday expressing remorse over the incident and promising that he was doing “personal work” to deal with his conduct.
“It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me,” Mr. Smith mentioned within the video. “I am deeply remorseful, and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself, right? I’m human, and I made a mistake.”
Mr. Smith, who resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences days after the ceremony, apologized to quite a few individuals through the practically six-minute video — beginning with Mr. Rock, who had made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head shortly earlier than Mr. Smith walked up and slapped him on reside tv. (Ms. Pinkett Smith has been open about her struggles with alopecia, a situation that results in hair loss, and in an announcement shortly after the incident, Mr. Smith mentioned a joke about his spouse’s medical situation was “too much for me to bear.”)
“Chris, I apologize to you,” Mr. Smith mentioned within the video. “My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
Shortly after the assault, Mr. Smith received the Oscar for greatest actor. In the video, he defined that he had did not apologize to Mr. Rock throughout his speech as a result of he was “fogged out” following the incident.
Mr. Smith mentioned he had tried to contact Mr. Rock afterward however had obtained a message in response that the comic was not prepared to speak and would attain out when he was. Mr. Smith apologized to Mr. Rock’s household, together with his mom, Rosalie Rock, who gave a television interview saying, “When you hurt my child, you hurt me.”
He additionally apologized to his family “for the heat that I brought on all of us,” in addition to the opposite nominees that night time for having tarnished their second.
Ms. Pinkett Smith has mentioned little about her personal expertise of that night time, however final month she centered an episode of her on-line discuss present, Red Table Talk, on alopecia, interviewing a lady whose 12-year-old daughter died by suicide on account of bullying over the situation.
Regarding the slap, Ms. Pinkett Smith mentioned: “My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile.”
Mr. Rock has not publicly mentioned his response to the assault in depth, however earlier this week, at a comedy present in Brooklyn, Mr. Rock talked about it in a joke. During a portion of his set that was targeted on victimhood, he informed the group that after Mr. Smith slapped him, he shook it off and “went to work the next day,” prompting sustained applause from the viewers. A consultant for Mr. Rock didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
In Friday’s video, Mr. Smith gave the impression to be working to restore his popularity and reassure followers that his conduct on the ceremony didn’t mirror who he really is, saying, “There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment.”
“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,” he concluded. “If you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again.”
Melena Ryzik and Jason Zinoman contributed reporting.