Will Smith has broken his silence regarding the slap that changed the tone of the 2022 Oscars. Smith’s actions toward Chris Rock, subsequently banned the King Richard star from the event for a decade. In a new YouTube video, Smith claims he reached out to Rock, whom he struck on stage at the Dolby Theater, to talk about his visceral reaction to a joke at the expense of his wife Jada. However, the comedian reportedly is “not ready” to talk.
The slap that stopped the Oscars 2022 telecast
Comedian Chris Rock was on stage at the Dolby Theater to present the award for Best Documentary Feature during the 2022 Oscars.
During his monologue and before reading the names of the nominees, Rock made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife Jada.
Rock reportedly went off-script and referred to Pinkett Smith as the lead character in the film G.I. Jane 2 due to her shaved head.
Pinkett Smith has an auto-immune disease called Alopecia which causes hair loss.
In a video clip, Smith calmly walked onto the academy stage and slapped Rock after the joke, returning to his seat at the table in the front alongside his wife.
Rock responded, “Will Smith just smacked the s*** out of me.”
After Smith took his seat, he angrily yelled at Rock twice to “keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth.”
“Wow, dude,” Rock responded. “It was a G.I. Jane joke.”
Rock broke the silence in the room by saying “that was the greatest night in the history of television.”
In Will Smith’s first videotaped statement about the incident, he claimed Chris Rock was ‘not ready’ to talk about it yet
In a videotaped message on Smith’s YouTube channel, the actor addressed his behavior at the 2022 Oscars.
“I was fogged out by that point,” Smith said of why he didn’t immediately address his actions upon accepting an Academy Award for his role in King Richard.
“It’s all fuzzy,” he continued.
Smith then said he wants to clear the air with Rock.
“I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk,” Smith elaborated.
“When he is, he will reach out,” the actor continued.
Smith subsequently called his behavior at the event “unacceptable.”
Smith claims he is ‘deeply remorseful’ about his actions
“There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment,” Smith continued in the video of his actions.
“There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”
Smith also addressed rumors that Pinkett Smith egged him on to defend her in the heat of the moment after rolling her eyes at Rock’s joke.
“I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,” Smith says.
“Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe. I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us.”
Smith also said he spent the last three months “replaying” what happened at the moment.