Will Smith publicly apologized to Chris Rock on camera Friday, four months after slapping the comedian at the 2022 Oscars.
Back in March, Smith, 53, stormed the stage and smacked Chris, 57, at the 94th Academy Awards after the latter joked about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s bald head while presenting an award.
In a new video posted to his YouTube, Instagram and Facebook Friday, Smith issued a public apology to the comedian over the incident, telling Rock, “I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
“Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work. You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer,” Smith said, before explaining that he didn’t apologize to Rock during his acceptance speech after receiving the Oscar for best actor because he was “fogged out at that point” and “it was all fuzzy.”
“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,” he continued. “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.”
The “King Richard” actor went on to extend an apology to Rock’s family, especially to his mother and brother Tony Rock, whom Smith said was close to him.
“I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I saw an interview that Chris’s mother did, and that was one of the things about that moment,” Smith said. “I didn’t realize and I wasn’t thinking [about] how many people got hurt in that moment. I want to apologize to Chris’s mother, I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man, and this is probably irreparable.”
In an interview with NBC affiliate WIS-TV in April, the comedian’s mother Rosalie “Rose” Rock spoke about the incident, saying: “When Will slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. But he really slapped me. When you hurt my child, you hurt me.”
Rose also said during the interview that the “Men in Black” star had not reached out to her son yet at that point.
Rock’s brother Tony previously expressed disapproval of the first apology Smith issued via Instagram days after the incident.
Tony also took jabs at the Oscar winner during his stand-up gig in Raleigh, North Carolina, in April. He warned the audience that if they had a problem with anything he said, they had one option: do “absolutely nothing.”
“If you think you gonna walk up on this stage, this ain’t the motherf—ing Oscars,” he said. “And if you walk your a— up here, you ain’t nominated for s—t but these motherf—ing hands.”
“You gonna hit my motherf–king brother because your b—h gave you a side-eye?” Tony also said during the show.
In his new video, Smith clarified that his wife didn’t do anything for him to take action. He even apologized to Pinkett Smith and their kids for the “heat” that he had brought on to their family.
“I made a choice on my own from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,” Smith said. “Jada had nothing to do with it.”
Following the incident, Smith resigned from the Academy and was banned from attending their ceremonies for the next 10 years.