Will Smith addresses Oscars slap and says he's 'deeply remorseful'

·Contributor
·3-min read

Watch: Will Smith issues another apology for Oscars slap

Will Smith has addressed his Oscars slap controversy, apologising to Chris Rock and saying he is "deeply remorseful".

The actor was in the headlines all over the world after his outburst at the awards ceremony in March, which saw him storm onto the stage and slap comedian Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

He has now spoken out about the incident in a video on Instagram, telling fans he has been doing a lot of "thinking and personal work".

Read more: LAPD not investigating altercation at Oscars

Smith spoke directly to the camera and answered a series of questions from social media.

Will Smith attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2022, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles. Credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS
Will Smith has apologised. (Doug Peters/EMPICS)

Asked why he didn't apologise to Rock during his best actor acceptance speech for King Richard - which was minutes later - he said he was "fogged out by that point".

"It’s all fuzzy," said the star.

"I have reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he is not ready to talk and when he is he will reach out.

“So I will say to you Chris, I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk.”

The actor also apologised to Rock's family, saying that he had not initially realised "how many people got hurt in that moment".

Will Smith appears to hit Chris Rock on Oscars stage (PA)
Will Smith hit Chris Rock on the Oscars stage (PA)

Smith said he had spent the last three months "replaying and understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened in that moment".

"And I’m not going to try and unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you that there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment," he said.

"There is no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle feelings of disrespect or insults.”

Will Smith issues another apology for Oscars slap
The actor addressed fans in a lengthy video. (Instagram)

The actor also addressed a question about whether Jada had prompted his decision to storm on stage, but said she had "nothing to do with it".

"I made a choice on my own, from my own experience and my history with Chris," he said.

During the five-minute video, Smith said sorry to the other nominees whose wins had been "tarnished" by what happened, particularly Questlove, whose best documentary gong was about to be dished out when he walked on stage.

Will Smith said he'd reached out to Chris Rock. (Getty)
Will Smith said he'd reached out to Chris Rock. (Getty)

Smith said sorry wasn't really "sufficient", and told his fans he could "still see Questlove’s eyes".

He also apologised to his own wife and children for the "heat" he brought on the family.

Concluding the video, the star said it hurt him to have let people down.

He said he was “deeply remorseful" and "trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself” and that he was "deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world".

“If you hang on, I promise we will be able to be friends again," he said.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)
Will Smith also apologised to his wife and children. (Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

Smith previously apologised after the awards show, saying in a statement that “violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive”.

Read more: Chris Rock ticket sales soar after Will Smith slap

He said hearing a joke about his wife – who has battled alopecia – was “too much” to bear and that he “reacted emotionally”.

Additional reporting from PA.

Watch: Chris Rock insists he's 'not a victim' after Will Smith Oscars slap

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