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John Laurenti
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Will Smith publicly apologizes to Chris Rock, the Academy, for slapping incident at the Oscars


Will Smith has publicly apologized to Chris Rock after their onstage altercation Sunday night at the 2022 Oscars. Smith took to Instagram on Monday to express remorse for slapping Rock after he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.  While Smith had apologized to the Academy during his acceptance speech after winning his first Oscar for Best Actor on Sunday night, he didn’t directly offer an apology to Rock at that time.

Smith said in his apology posted to social media on Monday: “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusableJokes 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.

“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. 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. 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.”

The incident took place when Rock took the stage to present at the Oscars, joking, “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” referencing Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Moments later, Smith confronted Rock onstage, slapping him with an open hand.  After hitting Rock, Smith returned to his seat and yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your [expletive] mouth.”  Jada Pinkett Smith has publicly spoken about her struggles with alopecia, an incurable autoimmune disorder that causes bald spots and hair loss.

The Academy condemned Smith’s actions and launched an official probe into the incident. Rock declined to press charges against Smith, and as of press time has not publicly addressed the altercation.

Editorial credit: lev radin /

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