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Will Smith is speaking out for the first time since hitting Chris Rock onstage at the 94th Academy Awards. The Oscar winner shared a statement in a March 28, 2022 Instagram post.
“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,” the “King Richard” actor wrote.
He continued, “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.”
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world,” the statement read. “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,” he ended his statement before signing off, “Sincerely, Will.”
In the most talked-about moment of the night, Rock joked that Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith would appear in a sequel to the 1997 film “G.I. Jane.” The comment seemingly referenced the actress’ baldness, since the film’s main character famously shaves her head.
Pinkett Smith previously revealed she experienced hair loss as a result of alopecia.
Despite the moment being bleeped in the United States, foreign broadcasts saw the moment unedited. A clip of the moment was shared on Instagram by Amanda Hirsch, the host of the “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast.
“Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s*** out of me,” Rock stated as Smith walked away. He went on to add, “Wow dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke.”
Smith repeatedly responded, “Keep my wife’s name out your f****** mouth.”
“I’m going to, okay,” he added. “Okay, that was the greatest night in the history of television. So we are here to give a documentary out.”