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It was the slap heard ’round the world. Will Smith‘s onstage slap across Chris Rock’s face was the most talked-about moment from the 2022 Academy Awards. While Smith has apologized to Rock repeatedly, Rock himself hasn’t spoken to Smith, and has only alluded to the incident in his live shows.

Will Smith (right) and Chris Rock moments after Smith slapped Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards. Smith finally apologized to Rock for the Oscars slap with a July 2022 video on his YouTube channel.
Chris Rock (left) and Will Smith seconds after Smith slapped Rock | Myung Chun/Los Angeles Times

Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock after the 2022 Oscars

Smith addressed the incident the day after the Oscars in an 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,” he said.

“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,” Smith continued. “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,” he added. “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.”

Smith reached out to Rock and apologized in a new video

Smith laid low for the next few months. In July 2022, he reemerged with a video statement on his Instagram where he addressed some questions people have asked in the months since the Oscars.

When giving his acceptance speech for his role in King Richard, Smith opted not to apologize to Rock. He explained, “I was fogged out by that point” and that it was “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,” Smith said. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”

Smith went on to apologize to people including Rock’s family and his own.


Will Smith Reportedly Reached out to Chris Rock After Oscars Slap; Comedian Says He’s ‘Not Ready’ to Talk

Rock didn’t accept his apology

Rock has alluded to the incident in his comedy shows before, and in July 2022, he took a moment to mention the incident again after Smith released his apology video.

“Everybody is trying to be a f***ing victim. If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims. Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith… I went to work the next day; I got kids,” he said, mentioning imprisoned Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight.

“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” he quipped.