Will Smith apologizes for slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

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Finally, some responses to the slap heard around the world.

On Friday morning, Will Smith posted a video answering questions about Chris Rock’s slap at the Oscars. The incident tarnished Smith’s Hollywood Golden Boy image (perhaps forever), led to his decade-long ban from the Academy, and sparked serious conversation about what role violence has, if any. , in public displays of anger.

“Letting people down is my main trauma,” Smith said, facing the camera. “I hate when I let people down. It hurts.”

In the nearly six-minute YouTube video, Smith answered common questions he received after the incident. Did his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, tell him to do it? No. Why didn’t he apologize to Rock during his acceptance speech moments later? It was “a blur”.

It was a standing ovation for Will Smith at the Vanity Fair Oscar party

At the Oscars, Rock took the stage to introduce the winner of the documentary feature category, but started with a joke. Targeting Jada Pinkett Smith’s very short head, which may be the result of her struggles with alopecia, he said, “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see it. Smith then strode onto the stage, slapped Rock in the face before returning to his seat where he repeatedly shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

Smith issued an apology on social media shortly after the event, but Rock remained largely silent, though he briefly addressed the issue during a standup in March: “I had like a show whole thing I wrote before the weekend,” he said, according to a Washington Post reporter in the audience. “And I’m still processing what happened. At some point I will talk about it. A representative for Rock could not immediately be reached for comment.

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The video was a string of apologies – to Rock, to Pinkett Smith, to his family, to the Academy, to Questlove, to his fans, even to Rock’s mother who said during an interview with an affiliate of NBC that when Smith “slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me.

There were several moments where Smith seemed to hold back tears, including when he recalled the look of Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, who received the Best Documentary trophy for “Summer of Soul (… Or , When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” shortly after the incident. It was Thompson’s first Oscar. Smith paused slightly to consider his words: “I’m sorry, that’s not really enough .”

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife’s hair at the Oscars on March 27. Smith won Best Actor for “King Richard.” (Video: Allie Caren/The Washington Post, Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters/The Washington Post)

To his fans who were disappointed with his actions, he said: “I know it was confusing. I know it was shocking. But I promise you that I am deeply dedicated and committed to bringing light, love and joy in the world. And, you know, if you stick with it, I promise you we can be friends again.

Smith also said he’s determined to do some work on himself — he tries to have “remorse without being ashamed.” Right? I am human. And I made a mistake and I try not to think of myself as a piece of s—.

But according to Smith, Rock still isn’t ready for a face-to-face apology. “I reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is he’ll contact me,” Smith said. “So I’ll tell you, Chris, I apologize. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.

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