Will Smith Breaks Silence in Tell-All Video Responding to Slapping Chris Rock
On Friday (July 29), Will Smith released a nearly six-minute video in response to the many questions people all over the world have had regarding the incident between him and Chris Rock that took place on stage at the Academy Awards show in March.
The confessional video opens with a written caption letting viewers know that Smith is ready to unveil his side of the story.
"It's been a minute," the caption reads. "Over the last few months, I've been doing a lot of thinking and personal work. You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.
From there, Will Smith gets right down to business, addressing many aspects of the situation head-on. In response to a question about why he didn't apologize to Chris Rock later that evening during his acceptance speech for winning the Oscar for Best Actor, the King Richard actor explained his state of mind at that moment.
"I was fogged out by that point," explained Smith. "It's all fuzzy. I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I'm here whenever you are ready to talk."
While apologizing to Chris Rock, Will Smith also directed his remorse toward members of Rock's family such as his mother and brother, Tony Rock, who have both addressed the slap publicly in recent months.
One of the more notable comments made by Smith was his response to a question regarding whether or not his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, encouraged the Big Willie Style rapper to confront Chris Rock following a joke the comic made about Jada's short-cropped hairstyle, which is the result of her battle with alopecia.
"No," Smith bluntly stated when asked if Jada Pinkett Smith told him to "do something" about Chris Rock's out-of-pocket joke. "I made a choice on my own from my own experiences from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it."
Throughout the rest of the introspective video, Smith goes on record to offer up apologies to his wife, his children and all who were affected by the infamous moment at the 2022 Oscars, including his peers in Hollywood and his fans.
Will Smith finishes the lengthy apology by explaining how the incident has taken a toll on his mental health and how he's been addressing those issues in the months since the slap went down. He also sent a final message to Chris Rock, promising that the two will mend their relationship.
"I've spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuance and the complexities of what happened in that moment," continued the Academy Award-winning actor. "Disappointing people is my central trauma. I hate when I let people down so it hurts ... If you hang on, I promise we'll be able to be friends again."
The Film Academy has banned Will Smith from attending the Oscars or any other associated event for the next 10 years, Chris Rock has poked fun at Smith on stage at his stand-up comedy shows and most recently, Kevin Hart presented Rock with a goat named "Will Smith" at Madison Square Garden.