Will Smith is speaking extensively about slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards.
Smith shared a video on YouTube answering everyone’s most asked questions, including why he did not apologize to Rock during his acceptance speech. After Smith slapped Rock for telling a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, he went on to win Best Actor for his role in “King Richard.”
“I was fogged out by that point,” Smith admitted about the lack of an immediate apology to Rock. “It’s all fuzzy.”
The “Gemini Man” actor revealed he has reached out to Rock to talk about the incident, but claimed the comedian is not ready to sit down with him. He also spent the 5-minute-long video apologizing to Rock and others – including Rose Rock.
“I want to apologize to Chris’ mother. I saw an interview that Chris’ mother did and, you know, that was one of the things about that moment I just didn’t realize and, you know, I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment,” the actor explained.
Rose initially said the following after the slap: “When Will slapped Chris, he slapped all of us, but he really slapped me.”
“So I want to apologize to Chris’ mother. I want to apologize to Chris’ family. Specifically, Tony Rock. You know, we had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. And this is probably irreparable.”
Smith explained he has spent the last three months replaying the incident.
“I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”
The Oscar-winning actor also clarified that his actions were not fueled by a request from Pinkett Smith.
“I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,” he explained. “Jada had nothing to do with it.”
Smith included an apology to his family and Questlove – who won the Oscar that Rock was presenting when the slap occurred.
He ended the video explaining that “disappointing people” is Smith’s “central trauma.”
“I hate when I let people down,” Smith said. “So, it hurts. It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me and the work I’m trying to do is I am deeply remorseful, and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself.”
“I’m human,” he continued. “And, I made a mistake, and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s–t. So, I would say to those people, I know it was confusing. I know it was shocking, but I promise you I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world, and you know if you hang on I promise we’ll be able to be friends again.”
Smith has remained mostly silent about slapping Rock. He released a public apology via Instagram days after the Oscars ceremony.
Rock has publicly talked about the incident. Most recently, he discussed the slap during a comedy show with Kevin Hart.
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock told the crowd, according to Us Weekly. He later added, “I’m not a victim. Yeah, that s–t hurt, motherf–ker. But, I shook that s–t off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”