Will Smith has publicly apologized to Chris Rock after beating the comedian at the Oscars.
The 53-year-old called his behavior at the Oscars “unacceptable and inexcusable” and said he was embarrassed by his actions.
Smith added that the joke about his wife’s health condition caused him to react “emotionally,” but “violence in all its forms is toxic and destructive.”
In a statement posted to Instagram, the actor said: “I want to publicly apologize to you Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong.
“I’m embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. In a world of love and kindness there is no place for violence.
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all contestants and all viewers around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams family and my King Richard family.
“I deeply regret that my behavior has marred an otherwise great journey for all of us.”
Smith concluded his apology by saying, “I’m a work in progress.”
Smith was condemned by the Academy when it launched a formal review of his altercation with Rock during the Academy Awards.
The 94th annual awards ceremony descended into chaos when Smith took the stage and met the comedian in front of a star-studded audience after Rock made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss.
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Rock compared Smith’s wife, who suffers from alopecia, to “GI Jane”.
The incident overshadowed a night where Coda, which features a mostly deaf cast, won best picture, while Troy Kotsur made history as the first deaf male actor to win a gong.
Kenneth Branagh won Best Original Screenplay for his semi-autobiographical film Belfast.
Smith, who won his first Oscar for King Richard, appeared to take offense at a gag Rock made about Pinkett Smith’s short haircut.
The Magic Mike XXL star and Red Table Talk host has previously opened up about her struggles with alopecia, saying it has prompted her to shave her head.
Referring to Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, Rock said, “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2,” which caused the actress to roll her eyes.
Smith, however, went on stage and slapped Rock before returning to his seat and shouting twice, “Keep my wife’s name out of your damn mouth.”
The altercation left Rock shocked and nervous as he tried to continue presenting the best documentary category.
In a statement Monday, the Film Academy said: “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr Smith at last night’s show.
“We have officially begun a formal review of the incident and will review further actions and consequences consistent with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law.”
As he collected his gong, Smith apologized to the AcaDemy and his fellow contestants, but not to Rock, who joked that he “looks like the crazy dad.”
He broke down in tears and said: “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family.
“I am called in my life to love people and protect people and be a flow for my people.
“I know to do what we do you have to be able to take abuse, you have to be able to have people in this business go crazy about you.
“You have to be able to have people disrespect you and you have to smile and act like that’s okay.
“I want to apologize to the academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow candidates.
“Art mimics life, I look like the crazy dad just like they said about Richard Williams, but love will make you do crazy things.”
He concluded by saying that he hoped the Academy would invite him back in the future.
The academy later said it “did not condone any form of violence” in a tweet posted from its official account.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said no report was filed after the incident.
“LAPD investigative authorities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” a spokesman for the force told the PA news agency.
“In the incident, one person hit another. The person concerned has refused to file a police report.
“If the party involved desires a police report at a later date, the LAPD is available to complete an investigative report.”
Oscars showrunner Will Packer later described the altercation as “a very painful moment for me.”
He initially reacted to the incident by saying, “Welp… I said it wasn’t boring #Oscars,” a comment that drew some criticism.
He later tweeted, “Black people have a defiant laugh when it comes to dealing with pain because there has been so much of it. I don’t feel the need to explain that for you.
“But I also don’t mind being transparent and saying that this was a very painful moment for me. On many levels.”
According to two sources close to the production who were not authorized to speak publicly, Rock’s joke during pre-show rehearsals was not part of his routine.
But Rock had joked about Pinkett Smith before. He was hosting the 2016 Oscars when some boycotted the ceremony because of the #OscarsSoWhite group of nominees, including the Smiths. Rock said at the time: “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”
Smith’s actions rocked a pivotal Academy Awards ceremony. Up to this point, producer Will Packer had been helming an orderly and light-hearted television show that the academy hoped would restore the Academy Awards after last year’s record-low ratings. Sunday’s ceremony drew an estimated 15.36 million viewers, according to preliminary figures from the company Nielsen on Monday. Although it was a significant improvement on last year’s 9.85 million viewers, it was still the second least viewed Oscar.
Some Academy members, such as writer and producer Marshall Herskovitz, called on the Academy to take disciplinary action against Smith.
“He disgraced our entire community tonight,” Herskovitz wrote on Twitter.
Whoopi Goldberg, a member of the academy’s board of governors, told The View on Monday, “We’re not going to take that Oscar away from him. That will have consequences, I’m sure of that.”
The Screen Actors Guild also got involved. The Film, TV and Radio Union called the incident “unacceptable”. The SAG said it has been in touch with the Academy and ABC and does not comment on the guild’s own disciplinary process.
A sense of disbelief pervaded the Dolby Theater following Smith’s attack. Not only was it an elusive breach of decorum on live national television — an incident so dramatic, even cinematic, that many initially assumed it was a staged play — it seemed wholly uncharacteristic for one of Hollywood’s most unrelentingly cheerful stars . And it took less than an hour for Smith to possibly reach the pinnacle of his career and win his first Best Actor Oscar.
“In a way, I also feel sorry for Will Smith because I think he let his emotions get the better of him and this should have been one of the greatest nights of his life,” former Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel said on Bill Simmons’ podcast . “And now it’s not like that anymore. Was there anyone in the world who didn’t like Will Smith an hour ago? Like nobody, right? Now he doesn’t have a single comedian boyfriend – that’s for sure.”
Some questioned whether Smith should have continued sitting front and center after hitting Rock. Several stars rushed to offer advice and reassurance to Smith, including Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper and Tyler Perry. But the timing was extremely unfavorable, as the best actor category was due soon after and Smith had long been viewed as a bar to the award.
“I know we’re all still processing, but the way occasional violence was normalized by a collective national audience tonight will have consequences we can’t even fathom right now,” wrote Janai Nelson , President and Director-Advisor to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, on Twitter.
The drama overshadowed some historic wins at an Academy Awards. The deaf family drama “CODA” was the first film with largely deaf actors to win the award for best film. For the first time, a streaming service, Apple TV+, received Hollywood’s highest honor, signaling a sea change in Hollywood and in cinema-going. Wins for West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose, CODA’s Troy Kotsur, and The Power of the Dog director Jane Campion all made history.
Others came to Smith’s defense, including Tiffany Haddish, who appeared in “Girls Trip” alongside Pinkett Smith.
“Maybe the world doesn’t like the way it ended, but for me it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there who love their wives, their wives and take care of them. ‘ Haddish told People magazine.
After the show, Smith posed for photos with his family before the Vanity Fair party. Inside, cellphone videos showed him dancing to “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” while clutching his Oscar. Her son Jaden tweeted, “And here’s how we do it.” Taking to Instagram, Smith posted, “Me ‘n Jada Pinkett Smith dressed up to vote chaos.”
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/no-place-for-violence-will-smith-apologises-to-chris-rock-over-oscars-slap-41497896.html ‘No Room for Violence’ – Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock for slapping him at the Oscars