Will Smith breaks silence on Oscar slap, says he’s ‘deeply remorseful’ – National

Will Smith is finally ready to talk about his famous “slap heard around the world”.

The actor took to Instagram on Friday, posting a lengthy video about the night he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.

Four months after Smith took the stage at the Oscars and tackled Rock for making a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, the actor took the time to answer questions about the controversy.

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The clip, captioned “Thank you all,” begins with a text overlay that reads: “It’s been a minute…Over the past few months I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and homework…You have asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.

Smith can be heard taking a deep breath as he dives into the Q&A, reading questions from an off-screen teleprompter before answering.

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The first question asks why Smith, 57, didn’t apologize to Rock that night during his Best Actor acceptance speech, delivered moments after the slap.

“I was steamed up at that time,” he explained. “Everything is blurry.”

Click to play video: 'Moment: Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage after Oscar joke about wife's hairstyle'

Moment: Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage after Oscars joke about wife’s hairstyle

Moment: Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage after his wife’s Oscars hairstyle joke – March 28, 2022

Smith explains that he reached out to Rock “and the message that came back was that he’s not ready to talk.”

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“When he is, he will reach out. I’ll tell you, ‘Chris, I apologize to you.’ My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.

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Smith added that he wanted to apologize to Rock’s mother and younger brother, Tony.

“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuance and complexity of what happened in that moment. I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but I can tell you all that there’s no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at the time. No part of me thinks that’s the best way to deal with feeling disrespected or insulted.

Click to play the video:

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When asked if Jada motivated her decision to slap Rock, Smith replied, “No. I made a choice on my own, based on my own experience and history with Chris. Jada has nothing to do with it.

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He then apologized to his wife, children and Oscar nominees whose achievements were overshadowed by the slap.

“For all my fellow nominees, it’s a community. I won because you voted for me and it really breaks my heart that you stole and tarnished your moment. I can still see Questlove’s eyes – it happened during Questlove’s award – and I’m sorry it’s not quite enough.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Academy Awards performance at the Dolby Theater at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Getty Images

Finally, Smith finished with this:

“Two things. First, disappointing people is my main trauma. I hate when I let people down, so it hurts me psychologically and emotionally not to live up to the image and impression people have of me. The work that I try to do is that I have deep remorse and I try to have remorse without being ashamed of myself. I’m human and I made a mistake and I try not to think of myself as shit so I’ll say to these people I know it was confusing I know it was shocking but I promise you I am deeply devoted and committed to bringing light, love and joy into the world. If you hang on, I promise you we can be friends again.

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The March 27 act of violence earned Smith a 10-year ban from the Academy, but the real consequences came in the form of public condemnation.

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Smith said he slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife’s hair loss – something she can’t control due to her alopecia.

After slapping Rock, Smith returned to his seat and yelled “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

A few days later, Smith publicly apologized on Instagram, saying the punchline was “too much for me to bear” and that he “reacted emotionally.”

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Rock, while apparently not ready to address the issue with Smith, recently made jokes about it during a stand-up comedy earlier this month.

“I’m not a victim, motherfucker,” he said during a performance at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey on Sunday, July 24, US Weekly reports.

“Anyone who says words hurt has ever been punched in the face,” Rock said.

“Yeah, that hurts, motherfucker. But I shook that shit off and went to work the next day,” he continued. “I’m not going to the hospital for a paper cut.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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