Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars had the dubious honor of making more headlines than any of the Oscar winners.
He shared a video on his YouTube channel answering people’s questions about his motivations and behavior during the incident.
Chris Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Jada suffers from alopecia, and Chris Rock mocked her by saying, “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you”, referring to her shaved head and a 1997 action movie starring Demi More, who shaves her head to become a Navy Seal.
Smith clarified that the attack wasn’t motivated by a request from Pinkett Smith and that he made a choice on his own, from his own experiences and history from Chris.
After being called to receive his award for Best Actor for his role in “King Richard,” he went on stage to slap Chris Rock for the quip.
He admitted that he was “fogged out” by that point and that it was “all fuzzy” after not apologizing to Rock immediately for the attack.
However, he explained in the video how he’s spent the last three months replaying the incident in his head and that he truly doesn’t think there was a valid reason for justifying his behavior.
Will Smith admitted that he has reached out to Rock several times to talk about the incident and set things straight but mentioned how the comedian isn’t ready to sit down with him and discuss the infamous slap.
In the video titled “It’s been a minute”, he apologized to Chris Rock and Rose Rock, Chris’ mother.
Immediately after the slap, Rose said that when Will slapped Chris, he slapped all of them, primarily her [Rose].
Quoting Smith on the matter:
“I saw an interview that Chris’ mother did and, you know, that was one of the things about that moment I just didn’t realize and, you know, I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt at that moment,”
He then apologized to Chris’ family, especially Tony Rock, Chris’ younger brother.
Smith claimed they had a great relationship, that Tony was “his man,” and that the damages were irreparable, hinting that their relationship with Rock had gone awry.
He admitted that he was human and made a mistake. He feels remorseful for letting people down and not living up to people’s image and impression of him and the work he tried to do.
“..I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world, and you know if you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again.”
Smith was silent about the slap in the aftermath of the Oscars ceremony, save for a public apology released on Instagram days after it took place.
On the other hand, Rock has spoken about the incident with Kevin Hart, in a comedy show. He proudly claimed that, although the slap hurt, he went to work the next day. “I don’t go to hospital for a paper cut.” These were his exact words.