Will Smith Apologizes to Chris Rock for Oscars Slap: ‘I Was Out of Line and I Was Wrong’

Chris Rock and Will Smith at the Oscars
Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times

Will Smith is finally speaking out on his choice to slap Chris Rock on the 2022 Oscars stage, taking to social media to share his official statement and apology to Rock, the Academy, the fans, and others who witnessed the incident on May 27.

Just hours after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced they would be launching a “formal review” of the situation, the newly-crowned Best Actor winner posted a Notes app apology on Instagram, expressing his regret over resorting to “violence” over Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s buzzed haircut (a result of her recent battle with alopecia), and admitting his embarrassment in the wake of the altercation.

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” he begins the open letter. “My behavior 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.

He continues, “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.

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“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. I am a work in progress,” he concludes.

Read the full statement in his post below:

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A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith)

After the event, the Los Angeles Police Department approached Rock but the comedian ultimately opted not to press charges against the King Richard star. While Smith may not face criminal charges, he will be subject to the Academy’s aforementioned review, which may lead to him losing his AMPAS membership or a suspension from the organization and its events, according to AMPAS rules. The review is currently ongoing.

Sound off in the comments — what do you think of Smith’s apology?