We’re approaching 24 hours from when Will Smith jumped onstage at the Oscars and slapped Chris Rock in the face for a G.I. Jane joke he made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia. You’ve definitely heard about it and you’ve almost certainly seen the clip (maybe even the unedited clips from foreign broadcasts that are floating around), but after the hit, Smith sat back down at his seat and screamed “keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth” at a visibly stunned Rock.
Later, Smith was still seen laughing along with jokes during the show, but when he won Best Actor for his work in King Richard, he broke into tears onstage and made a speech that was at least partially about the real Richard Williams being “a fierce defender of his family.” Smith also apologized to the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences (which runs the Oscars), but notably did not apologize to Rock or acknowledge him in any way.
Now, though, Smith has posted a message on Instagram in which he not only apologizes to Rock but says that, “violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.” He says that his behavior was “unacceptable and inexcusable,” and while he knows that jokes at his expense are “part of the job,” he says the joke about his wife’s medical condition “was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”
Specifically addressing Rock, Smith says he’s “embarrassed” by what he did and says, “my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be.” He also apologized to the Academy, “all attendees,” the Williams family, and everyone who worked on King Richard. You can see his full post below.
Before Smith released his statement, the LAPD confirmed that Chris Rock had declined to file a police report against Smith and the Academy announced that it was launching a “formal review” into the incident and will “explore further action and consequences.”