Will Smith Apologizes to Rock—and Rock's Mother

Actor discusses the Oscars slap in new video
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2022 11:12 AM CDT

Will Smith is offering his most detailed apology yet over his infamous slap of Chris Rock four months ago at the Oscars. In a newly released video, the actor apologizes not only to Rock, but to Rock's family and to his own, report People and Variety. Some key lines:

  • "I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out," said Smith. "So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."
  • Delay: Why didn't he apologize in the moment? "I was fogged out by that point. It's all fuzzy." (Smith previously apologized to Rock in a statement.)
  • Rock's mother: Smith said he saw an interview in which Rock's mother talked about being distraught watching the slap. "That's one of the things about that moment I didn't realize, I wasn't thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment," he said. "So I want to apologize to Chris's mother; I want to apologize to Chris's family, specifically Tony Rock [Chris's younger brother]."
  • All wrong: “There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment,” said Smith. "I was wrong and out of line." Smith went on stage and slapped Rock after the comedian joked about the hair of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia.

  • Not on Jada: "It’s like, you know, I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe. I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us."
  • Fellow entertainers: "To all my fellow nominees, you know, this is a community, it’s like I won because you voted for me," Smith said. "And it really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment. I can still see Questlove’s eyes. You know, it happened on Questlove’s award. And, you know, it’s like, 'I’m sorry' really isn’t sufficient."
(Rock hasn't spoken publicly in depth about the incident yet.)

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