Finally, some responses to the slap heard around the world.
On Friday morning, Will Smith posted a brief video answering some questions about slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. The incident tarnished Smith’s Hollywood Golden Boy image (perhaps forever), led to his decade-long ban from the Academy, and sparked serious conversation about what role violence has, if any. , in public displays of anger.
“Disappointing people is my main trauma,” Smith said, facing the camera. “I hate when I let people down. It hurts.”
In the five-minute YouTube video, Smith answered common questions he received after the incident. Did Jada tell him to do it? No. Why didn’t he apologize to Rock during his acceptance speech moments later? It was “a blur”.
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At the Oscars, Rock took the stage to introduce the winner of the documentary feature category, but started with a joke. Targeting Jada Pinkett Smith, her head closely severed, which may be the result of her struggles with alopecia, he said, “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see it. Smith then strode onto the stage, slapped Rock in the face before returning to his seat where he repeatedly shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”
While Smith issued an apology on social media shortly after the event, Rock remained largely silent — until a stand-up event in New Jersey just five days ago.
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock said, according to Us Weekly. Then, during a skit about people being overly sensitive and playing the part of the victim, Rock told the audience that he was “not a victim.” In fact, he “shook himself up” and went back to work. He doesn’t “go to the hospital for a paper cut”.
Smith also apologized to Rock’s mother, Rosalia Rock, who said in a TV interview that “when [Smith] slapped Chris, he slapped us all. He really slapped me.
But according to Smith, Rock still isn’t ready for a face-to-face apology.
“I reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is he’ll contact me,” Smith said. “So I’ll tell you, Chris, I apologize. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.