Oscars 2022: Will Smith got emotional during his acceptance speech. (Image courtesy: AFP)
- Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars
- He did this after the comedian make a joke about his wife
- Earlier, Will Smith apologised to the Academy during his speech
Academy Award winning actor Will Smith used his speech at the Oscars yesterday to apologize - minutes earlier, he had slapped presenter Chris Rock over a joke about wife Jada Pinkett. Only, Will didn't actually apologize to Chris. He did that in an Instagram post shared last night in which he named Chris Rock and also apologized to the Academy - which is reportedly considering taking action against him - everyone who went to and watched the Oscars, the Williams family and the "King Richard family" - Will Smith won Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams, father of tennis stars Venus and Serena. If his tearful Oscar speech failed to address the public assault he made, Will Smith's Instagram post made it very clear: "I would publicly like to apologize to you, Chris," he began the post, ending, "I am a work in progress."
Will Smith strode upto Chris Rock and slapped him after the comedian made an off-colour joke about Will's wife Jada Pinkett's hair - she suffers from alopecia which causes hair loss. The altercation was caught on camera in a live broadcast watched around the world. Shortly after, Will Smith won Best Actor and delivered an emotional speech in which he blamed his actions on love and apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees.
Will Smith's Instagram post redressed this. "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," he wrote, adding, "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour 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." Will Smith was enraged when Chris Rock made a GI Jane joke about Jada Pinkett, in reference to her shaved head. Jada made her struggle with alopecia public some years ago.
The 53-year-old actor apologized again to the Academy in his post and also to literally everyone else: "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."
Calling himself a "work in progress," Will Smith signed off his statement. Read Will Smith's full statement here:
After slapping Chris Rock, Will Smith returned to his seat and yelled, "Keep my wife's name out of your f*****g mouth." Later, while receiving the Best Actor trophy, Will Smith said tearfully, "I want to apologise to the academy. I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees... Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things." He also revealed what fellow Best Actor nominee Denzel Washington said to him in the previous commercial break: "Thank you Denzel, who said to me a few minutes ago... he said, 'at your highest moment, be careful, that's when the devil comes for you.'"
"Hope they invite me back," Will Smith said about the Academy and the Oscars. This may be in question now. After the incident, the Academy tweeted a brief statement later saying it doesn't "condone violence of any form." It is also reportedly meeting to take a decision on what action, if any, to take. Meanwhile, Chris Rock has declined to file a police report, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
After the Oscars, Will Smith and family posed in the press room for pictures. He then attended the Vanity Fair after-party and was spotted dancing and taking selfie like Slapgate hadn't happened.
Will Smith, a Hollywood A-lister, is the star of hit movies like Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness, Men in Black series and the Bad Boys films just to name a few. He is also the star of the popular television series The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.