Will Smith broke his silence for the first time since he dealt comedian Chris Rock a slap during the live broadcast of the Oscars on March 27.
Smith has been condemned widely for his actions which were in response to a joke Rock read created by the event organizers that made fun of Jada Pinkett-Smith’s balding head.
On Friday, the video saw the disgraced actor speaking on camera for the first time as he issued a personal apology to Rock for slapping him.
“I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out,” Will Smith said as he read a question that was asked of him. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behaviour was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
“I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy,” he said about the aftermath of the moment that stunned millions on TV.
The King Richards actor also said that he didn’t realize that many people were hurt by his actions as he apologized to Chris Rock’s family, including his brother Tony Rock who had previously said he was ready for the smoke to get back at Smith.
“I saw an interview that his mother did. That’s one of the things about that moment I didn’t realize, I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment,” he said.
“So I want to apologize to Chris’s mother; I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. This is probably irreparable,” Will said.
“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the complexities and nuances of what happened,” Smith said, adding, “I’m not gonna try to unpack all of that right now but I can say to you, there was no part of me that thought that was the right way to behave in that moment,” he added.
Chris Rock has never spoken about the incident, and although he has made jokes about it, days ago, he had said he would speak about it when he is ready.
Smith had previously released a statement days after the event as he claimed that the joke which made fun of his wife’s alopecia was hurtful, and he also felt his wife’s hurt leading to him reacting “emotionally.”
Smith has been criticized for his wishy-washy apology to Rock.
“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 had said.