Will Smith finally broke his silence about infamously slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards show, and the comedian clearly didn’t accept the emotional apology.
“Everybody is trying to be a f—ing victim,” Rock, 57, retorted during a show in Atlanta hours later. “If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims.”
“Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith… I went to work the next day, I got kids,” he said in reference to former music producer and convicted murderer, Suge Knight. “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”
In a Friday YouTube video that he titled “It’s Been A Minute,” Smith, 53, finally spoke out about the incident that nearly crippled his career minutes before he won Best Actor for his role in Venus and Serena Williams biopic “King Richard.”
“I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out,” Smith said. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
Smith rushed the Oscars’ stage at the 94th Academy Awards show and slapped Rock, after he cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. The “Bad Boys” star said that the action was not prompted at the behest of his wife, who rolled her eyes after the jab.
“No, it’s like, you know, I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, and my history with Chris [Rock]. Jada had nothing to do with it,” he explained, before apologizing. “I’m sorry, babe. I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us.”
Smith also detailed that he was too “fogged out” to apologize to Rock during his acceptance speech, which occurred after the assault, but said he’s been “doing a lot of thinking and personal work” in the months since the event.
“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment, and I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now,” Smith concluded. “But I can say to all of you now there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment.”
Watch the video: