Actor Will Smith has apologized for slapping comedian and presenter Chris Rock in the face during Sunday night’s broadcast of the Oscars.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” Smith posted on his official social media handles. “Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” he said, referring to his wife, actressJada Pinkett Smith.
“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 on Monday.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences earlier condemned the slapping and said it has officially launched a formal review of the incident “and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law.”
Smith also apologized 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 added, referring to Venus and Serena Williams, who star with him in the movie King Richard.
During the broadcast, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada.
“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” he said in an apparent reference to Pinkett Smith’s shaved head in comparison to Demi Moore’s U.S. Navy Seals character’s military haircut in the movie G.I. Jane.
Smith then approached the stage-which was not shown on the broadcast but was immediately released uncensored through online platforms-and slapped Rock across the face with an open hand.
“Oh wow. Wow,” a stunned Rock replied. “Will Smith just smacked the sh*t out of me.”
Jada suffers from a condition called alopecia areata, a disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles, causing hair loss.