Will Smith Publicly Apologizes to Chris Rock Following Slap at 2022 Oscars

Smith took to Instagram Monday afternoon to issue a public apology to the comedian following Sunday night's incident.

Will Smith is apologizing to Chris Rock following their onstage altercation at the 2022 Oscars on Sunday night. Smith took to Instagram Monday to share a lengthy statement in which he shared how deeply he regrets his behavior after slapping the comedian following a joke made 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 began.

While Smith, who accepted his first Oscar for Best Actor Sunday night, used his acceptance speech to apologize to the Academy, he did not apologize to Rock -- until now.

"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," he wrote.

Smith also apologized again to the Academy, as well as the Williams family and the cast and crew of King Richard for his behavior, which he said "has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for us all."
"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," Smith wrote. "I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us."

"I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will," he added, bringing his lengthy statement to a close.

It all went down when Rock took the stage to present at the 94th annual Academy Awards. While presenting, the Saturday Night Live alum quipped, "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it," referencing her shaved head. Within seconds, Smith walked onstage and slapped Rock with an open hand, on the face.

The Girls Trip actress has been vocal about her struggles with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder which causes bald spots and hair loss. After delivering the slap, Smith returned to his seat and yelled, "Leave my wife's name out of your f**king mouth." 

On Tuesday, a source told ET that, "Will's response to Chris Rock's joke about Jada was entirely reactionary to what he deemed unacceptable when it comes to jokes about his wife and his family. Will is regretful of how he chose to handle himself."

The source added that Smith felt like he "had to do something," in an attempt to protect his family.

"Will felt like he had to do something, as this was an award show ceremony, and not a roast. He is all about protecting his family," the source continued.

The source also shared that Smith is aware of the consequences that are to come as a result of his actions, but is "focused on the bigger picture" which for now, is "keeping his family safe."

"Will knows there will be repercussions for his actions from The Academy, but he's focused on the bigger picture, which is keeping his family safe," the source added. "His main concern is doing what he thought was right, but he knows his actions totally changed the tone of the rest of the ceremony.:

While many celebs, comedians and Richard Williams himself have spoken out about the incident, Rock, who declined to press charges Sunday night, has yet to publicly address it.



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