Will Smith Apologizes to Chris Rock for Slap: “I Was Out of Line and I Was Wrong”
Will Smith apologized late Monday afternoon for his actions at Sunday night’s Oscars, in which he slapped presenter Chris Rock on the main stage in response to a crass joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. 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,” Smith wrote in an Instagram post. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. 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.”
Smith’s statement then addressed the Academy, which strongly condemned Smith’s actions earlier on Monday, as well as others involved in Sunday’s broadcast, writing, “I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”
The statement concluded, “I am a work in progress.”
Earlier on Monday, the Academy announced it is set to determine potential action to be taken against Smith for his violent outburst, after completing a review of the incident. Possible scenarios include the revocation of his Oscar, expulsion from the Academy, or most likely, a temporary suspension. “We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law,” the statement read.
Smith won the Oscar for best actor for his performance in King Richard shortly after the altercation with Rock. In his speech, Smith apologized to the Academy before concluding, “I’m hoping the Academy invites me back.”
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Originally published in Vanityfair.com