It's been over four months since the world was shocked by Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscar Awards. If you recall, the slap followed a joke made by Rock that referenced Smith's spouse, Jada Pinkett-Smith, resembling "G.I. Jane" due to her bald head. Pinkett-Smith had previously been vocal about suffering from alopecia and reckoning with her attachment to her hair.
Since then, there have been a variety of arguments over who was right, the boundaries of comedy and the persistence of Black women being at the butt of jokes. Will Smith apologized for his actions after receiving an Oscar for his performance in King Richard. After that moment, he resigned from the Academy and was prohibited from attending any related events for ten years.
After weeks had gone by, Pinkett-Smith, her mother Adrienne Norris-Banfield and daughter Willow Smith briefly addressed the situation in a statement of the season five premiere episode of their Facebook Watch Series Red Table Talk. Jada also made a statement about the need for healing between all parties involved later on.
Now, Will Smith has made the decision to speak for himself in a recently uploaded YouTube video titled "It's been a minute..."
In a question and answer format, the video expressed how "deeply remorseful" he is at what occurred and extending an olive branch to Rock to discuss whenever he felt ready. Apparently, Will reached out to Chris who stated that he wasn't yet ready to talk.
In response about what triggered the slap, Smith stated: "I was fogged out by that point. It is all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that, he’s not ready to talk. When he is, he will reach out. I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk. I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I saw an interview [she] did, and that was one of the things I just didn’t realize. I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment. I want to apologize to Chris’ mother, I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. This is probably irreparable. I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuance and complexity of what happened in that moment. I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. No part of me that thinks that is the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insult.”
Earlier this week, Chris Rock stated that he is "not a victim" during a stop on Kevin Hart's comedy tour.
Check out Will Smith apology video below: