CELEBRITY

‘Poisonous and destructive’: Will Smith apologises to Chris Rock over Oscars slap

The actor speaks out on the shocking moment he slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Academy Awards ceremony on Monday.
Loading the player...

It was the jaw-dropping moment witnessed by millions around the world, and now Will Smith has spoken out about the shocking incident in which he slapped comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.

WATCH: Will Smith Appears To Punch Chris Rock At The Oscars 2022

In case you missed it, the Awards show formula was running as smoothly as live television can, until presenter Chris Rock made a joke that prompted Will Smith to aggressively get off his seat and up on stage.

After the comedian suggested Will’s Smith wife Jada Pinkett Smith might appear in a GI Jane sequel, Will initially smiled at the jab, while Jada rolled her eyes.

will-smith-slap
Will Smith has apologised to Chris Rock. (Credit: Getty)

Whatever then exchanged between Will and Jada is unknown as the camera cut back to the joke-maker, before Will marched towards his fellow actor and hit him square across the face. He then returned to his seat, yelling: “leave my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth.”

The joke in question referred to the 1997 Demi Moore movie GI Jane, where the actress shaved her head. Jada has recently been very open with fans about suffering hair loss due to alopecia.

The audience in the theatre seemed as clueless as those at home as to whether or not this was a staged ‘bit’. Smiles slowly faded as a seemingly shocked Chris regained his composure.

Despite the ruckus, Will went on to nab an award for Best Actor for King Richard, where he tearfully insisted he was a “vessel for love” despite his outburst moments before. 

will-smith

Following major backlash which saw fans express concern over the star’s “violent behaviour,” the Oscar winner has now posted an official statement, in which he apologised to Chris Rock and condemned his actions.

Here is the full statement:

“Violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour 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.

“I would like to publicly apologise 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.

“I would also like to apologise to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologise to the Williams family and my ‘King Richard’ family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.

“I am a work in progress.”

In a statement Monday, the film academy said it will also “explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”

Related stories