Will Smith has issued a public apology to Chris Rock after slapping the comedian on stage at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday night. In one of the most shocking turns of events on stage, comedian-actor Chris Rock was left stunned at the 2022 Academy Awards after Will Smith came on onstage and slapped the comedian across the face. The incident occurred after Rock, who was introducing the award for Best Documentary, poked fun at Jada Pinkett Smith about her hairdo. For unversed, Pinkett is suffering from auto-immune disease alopecia which results in hair loss.
Will Smith apologises to Chris Rock for slapping him at Oscars 2022: ‘I was out of line and I was wrong’
Rock mocked Pinkett Smith’s baldness and made a reference to the 1997 movie G.I. Jane (which features a bald Demi Moore). Rock said, "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see ya." While Smith laughed from his seat at first. Pinkett Smith was unamused and eye-rolled at the joke. Then, Smith took the stage and smacked Rock. "Oh wow," said Rock. "Will Smith just smacked the s--- out of me."
"Keep my wife's name out your f---ing mouth!" Will Smith, seemingly angry yelled back at Rock from his seat. "Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke," said Rock, to which Smith repeated again, "Keep my wife's name out your f---ing mouth!"
While the actor went on to win the Best Actor award for King Richard, The Academy has launched an investigation even when Chris Rock chose not to file a police report. Will Smith, on Monday, issued an apology via his Instagram account and said, "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."
"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," he continued.
"I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. 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 concluded his statement.
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Will Smith, later in the night, won the Best Actor award for King Richard. Taking the stage, he was overwhelmed. In the tear-filled speech, he said, "In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world. ... I'm being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people."
"I know to do what we do you gotta be able to take abuse; you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you, and you gotta smile and pretend like that's okay," he said, before comparing himself to his character from King Richard, who was a "fierce defender of his family."
It was also reported by the press in the auditorium that after the altercation, Denzel Washington had gone to speak to Will Smith. In his speech, the actor said what Denzel told him, "at your highest moments, be careful because that's when the devil comes for you."
Addressing The Academy for the incident, he said, "I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees."
Smith then said, "Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things." He later added, "Being able to love and care for my mother and my family, my wife ... Thank you for this honor. Thank you for this moment. ... I hope the Academy invites me back."
This marked Will Smith's first Oscar win and his third nomination. He was previously nominated for Best Actor in 2002 for Ali and in 2007 for The Pursuit of Happyness.
ALSO READ: Chris Rock not pressing charges against Will Smith for the Oscars' slap; The Academy launches investigation for his actions
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