Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock on YouTube

Oscar® nominee Will Smith arrives on the red carpet of the 94th Oscars® at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

In a cringe-worthy video posted to his own YouTube channel, Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock for the slap heard ‘round the world that occurred at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony back in March. 

In case you forgot, Will Smith marched up on stage and slapped presenter Chris Rock across the face after he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett and her shaved head, comparing her to Demi Moore’s depiction of a Navy Seal hopeful in the 1997 movie G.I. Jane.

He then casually walked back to his seat and began shouting expletives at Rock, who managed to keep his composure and continue on with the show, even joking backstage that he was “hit by Muhammad Ali and didn’t get a scratch,’ alluding to Smith’s Oscar-nominated role in the 2001 film Ali.

About 40 minutes after the slap, Smith accepted the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. During the speech, Smith seemed to ramble almost incoherently as he attempted to apologize for his behavior, but forgot to mention Rock. 

Smith apologized after the incident on his Instagram, but his apology wasn’t enough in the eyes of the Academy and even though he resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences himself, The Board of Governors decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Smith would not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards. 

“It’s been a minute” and several hundred slap memes, since we have heard from Smith and for some unknown reason he decided to record and post a super awkward video of himself “answering questions” which were allegedly posted online. It seems really coincidental that Smith decided to post this video just a few days after Chris Rock told his audience that he’s “not a victim” and that he doesn’t “go to the hospital for a papercut” during his set at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, on Sunday, July 24.

Just when we thought all this drama was finally dying down Smith decided to shine the spotlight back on himself to apologize to Rock… again. Smith did address the lack of communication between him and Rock explaining that he has reached out to Rock repeatedly to have a sit down so he could apologize to him in person, but Rock has sent word that he’s “not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out.”

During the almost six-minute video Smith addressed Rock and said, “Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.” Smith also took this opportunity to apologize to Rock’s mom, his family, and his brother Tony Rock.

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Smith was “asked” if his wife Jada asked him to do something after she rolled her eyes and Smith said that he made his own choice to assault Rock on stage that evening in front of the entire world and declared that Jada had absolutely nothing to do with it. He then went on to apologize to her, their family, and their children and the “heat” that was brought onto them after the incident.

Smith then went on to apologize to his fellow nominees for tarnishing the event for them, mentioning Questlove, who won the award for Best Documentary Feature and acknowledged that “I’m sorry” really isn’t sufficient. Smith expressed that he is human and we all make mistakes, and sadly, this weird, self-serving, and indulgent video is one of them.

The entire video can be viewed here:

Until the next turn…

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Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Chicago and Los Angeles.