For the first time since hitting the comedian onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards, Will Smith is speaking to Chris Rock on television.
Will Smith released a video on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook in which he apologized to Rock saying, “I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk,” four months after hitting him across the face at the Oscars. Rock, 57.
“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,” Will said. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologise to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
“By that time, I had lost my vision. Everything is hazy.”
The King Richard actor continued by expressing his desire to make amends to Rock’s mother, “I saw an interview that his mother did. That’s one of the things about that moment I didn’t realize, I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment.”
He continued, “So I want to apologise to Chris’s mother; I want to apologise to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock, Chris’s younger brother. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. This is probably irreparable.”
Prior to receiving the Best Actor award on March 27, Will took exception to a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head and stormed onstage and struck Rock on live television. Jada, age 50, has alopecia.
Days later, Will Smith said in a statement that he “reacted on impulse of his emotions because the punchline was “too much for me to bear.”