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Actor Will Smith took to Instagram on Monday evening to apologize to comedian Chris Rock for violently assaulting him on stage in front of everyone at the Academy Awards on Sunday night. Smith, who is being slammed for attacking Rock, also disabled the comments to his Instagram apology post.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote in his public apology. “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 went on to apologize to Rock directly. The actor originally refrained from apologizing to the comedian in his initial apology during his acceptance speech for winning Best Actor for his lead performance as Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard Williams in King Richard.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” Smith said. “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.”
The actor went on to express regret for how his behavior overshadowed the Oscars, as well as how it “stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey” for himself and the Williams family.
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world,” he said. “I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. 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,” Smith concluded.
On Sunday, Smith shocked Oscars audience members and viewers when he marched onto the stage and attacked Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
“Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see ya,” Rock said while on stage — an apparent joe about Pinkett Smith’s hair loss, which she has revealed is due to her having alopecia.
Rock comment elicited a cringeworthy response from Smith struck the comedian in the face and then went back to his seat, where he twice shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.”
— Adam Silverstein (@SilversteinAdam) March 28, 2022
The public was not pleased. Hollywood turned on Smith, taking to social media to express dismay over his actions.
“It was just a joke. Jokes are what Chris Rock does. Always has been edgy. This was a mild joke from him. and I love GI Jane,” wrote actress Mia Farrow. “What I saw was one of Hollywood’s most powerful movie stars stalk onto a stage to strike a comedian — anyone who is ok with that has probably never been hit by a powerful man.”
Actor Rob Reiner reacted by proclaiming that Smith owed Rock “a huge apology,” adding, “There is no excuse for what he did. He’s lucky Chris is not filing assault charges. The excuses he made tonight were bullshit.”
Meanwhile, Rosie O’Donnell referred to the moment as a display of “toxic masculinity.”