Oscar-winning actor Will Smith tearfully addressed the fallout from 2022 Oscars night when he slapped comedian Chris Rock in the face during March's live Oscars telecast.
Will Smith emotionally recalls the ‘horrific’ 2022 Oscar slapgate and talks about past traumas – “That’s not who I want to be”
"That was a horrific night, as you can imagine. There are many nuances and complexities to it. But, at the end of the day, I lost it, and I guess what I would say, you just never know what somebody's going through, you know?" Smith said Appearing on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. "I was going through something that night. Not that that justifies my behavior at all. You're asking, what did I learn? It's that we've just gotta be nice to each other, man. It's hard.”
“I guess the thing that was most painful for me is, I took my hard and made it hard for other people,” he added. “I understood the idea of when they say hurt people hurt people." Talking about his past traumas and other bottled emotions that led to such heated exchange, Smith shared, “It was a lot of things, it was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, all of that just bubbled up in that moment. That's not who I want to be," he added wiping away tears.
"I understand how shocking that was for people. On that stage, yeah, I was gone, dude. I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time, but I understand the pain. It was like, my nephew is nine, and he's the sweetest little boy, we came home and he had stayed up late to see his Uncle Will [on TV], and we're sitting in my kitchen and he's on my lap holding the Oscar, and he's just like, 'Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?'"
"I had to forgive myself for being human,” he added. Trust me, there's nobody that hates the fact that I'm human more than me, and finding that space for myself within myself to be human," Smith concluded. "I've always wanted to be Superman and swoop in and save the damsel in distress, and I had to humble down and realize that I'm a flawed human and I still have an opportunity to go out in the world and contribute in a way that fills my heart and hopefully helps other people."
During the 2022 Academy Awards night, Smith stormed the stage at the stage after Rock made a joke about the actor's wife Jada Pickett Smith's shaved head, a result of hair loss condition alopecia. Following the ceremony, which also saw Smith win his first Best Actor Oscar for his performance in King Richard, the Academy banned Smith from attending all of its official events including the Oscars for the next 10 years.
Though the Men In Black star apologized on social media in the days following the incident, Smith properly addressed the controversy in a five-minute video released in July. Meanwhile, Will Smith is gearing up for his comeback in big screens following the infamous incident. Helmed by Antoine Fuqua, Emancipation Smith as a runaway slave who gets the name ‘Whipped Peter’ after pictures of him with a scarred back get widely distributed, showcasing the extreme brutality meted out to him.
Emancipation would hit select theatres before premiering on Apple TV+ December 9 onwards. Watch the full interview below!
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