Serena Williams Reflects on Will Smith's Oscars Controversy 1 Year Later: 'We're All Human'

The tennis legend talks Smith's controversial slap on 'CBS Mornings.'

Serena Williams admits that Will Smith's infamous slap at the Oscars overshadowed some special moments for others, but she hopes people understand "we're all human" and make mistakes.

In a conversation with Gayle King on CBS Mornings, the 41-year-old tennis legend offered her thoughts on Smith slapping Chris Rock during last year's Oscars after the comedian made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith's, baldness.

While she never directly addressed Smith, Rock or the infamous slap, Williams broached the subject while referencing King Richard when discussing her father, Richard Williams. 

"I thought it was such an incredible film and I feel that there was an incredible film after that with Questlove that kind of was overshadowed," said Williams in reference to Rock, after he was slapped, awarding Questlove with an Oscar in the Best Documentary category. "But I also feel that I've been in a position where I've been under a lot of pressure and made a tremendous amount of mistakes, and I'm the kind of person that's just like, 'I've been there. I've made a mistake. It's not the end of the world.' We're all imperfect and we're all human and let's just be kind to each other. So, that's often forgotten a lot."

The fallout from the slap 'heard and seen 'round the world was swift. Smith, who earned his first Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Williams' father, was banned from attending Academy events for 10 years, and projects he had been working on were either scrapped or paused indefinitely.

Fast forward to now, it appears the damage has subsided. Smith on Tuesday announced that he and Martin Lawrence will team up for Bad Boys 4.

And just last week, Nia Long sent love and support Smith's way in an interview with Yahoo. Long, of course, played Smith's longtime girlfriend, Belulah "Lisa" Wilkes, on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

"I will always love him and he's had an incredible career, and he's carried a burden for many years to try to represent what perfection looks like," Long told the outlet. "Or what achievement looks like. And I don't think that, at least when we were going up, there was room to be human. I think he's now able to be human."

She also subtly referenced the Oscars slap.

"We all have our moments in life where we need to reconcile things that we suppress," she said. "And I think -- it's hard growing up in this business and being front and center every day, all day."