On his Instagram, Smith expressed his deep regret for the unfortunate incident.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” he said.” 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.”
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” he continued. “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,” Smith 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.”
While on stage to present the Oscar for Best Documentary feature, Rock told a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head.
“Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” Rock said. Pinkett-Smith revealed last year that she has alopecia.
After the joke, Smith approached Rock on stage and slapped him across the face. Many thought it was staged until unedited footage began to circulate online,
“Wow,” Rock said. “Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.
As he returned to his seat, Smith yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***king mouth.”
Rock has declined to press charges.
On Monday, the Academy announced that it launched an investigation into Will Smith's actions following the altercation.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct, and California law," the Academy wrote in a statement sent to EBONY.
According to the Academy, a breach of conduct constitutes, “Physical contact that is uninvited and, in the situation, inappropriate and unwelcome, or coercive sexual attention” as well as “Intimidation, stalking, abusive or threatening behavior, or bullying."