Will Smith Apologizes to Chris Rock

Will Smith
(Image credit: Westbrook Studios/Nat Geo )

Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock, who he slapped at the Academy Awards March 27, with a post on Instagram the day after.

Smith wrote: 

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. 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.

“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.”

Smith slapped Rock after Rock, presenting onstage, made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia. 

Smith also apologized to the Academy and the Oscars producers, attendees and viewers, along with the Williams family depicted in King Richard, which Smith got the best actor trophy for. 

“ I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” Smith said, calling himself “a work in progress.” 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts the Academy Awards, is investigating the incident. The Academy said it "condemns" Smith's behavior at the event. ■

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.