Will Smith is finally speaking candidly.
On Friday, the actor released a video in which he addressed the incident at this year’s Oscars in which he slapped host Chris Rock on-stage, apologizing to the comedian.
Taking a seat in the video, Smith read off a number of questions people have had about the incident.
“Why didn’t you apologize to Chris in your acceptance speech?” Smith read.
“I was fogged out by that point. It is all fuzzy,” he said of going up to accept his Oscar for Best Actor later in the ceremony.
Smith also said, “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that, he’s not ready to talk. When he is, he will reach out. I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk.
He continued, “I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I saw an interview [she] did, and that was one of the things I just didn’t realize. I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment. I want to apologize to Chris’ mother, I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. This is probably irreparable.”
“I spent the last three months replaying an understanding the nuance and complexity of what happened in that moment,” Smith went on. “I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but 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. No part of me that thinks that is the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insult.”
The slap occurred after Rock had made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, sporting a bald hairstyle, which she has explained publicly is due to her alopecia.
After making the joke, Jada had rolled her eyes, and some fans wondered whether she her husband something between the eye-roll and his getting up to confront Rock.
“No,” Smith said emphatically. “It’s like, you know, I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe. I wanna say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us.”
Smith also apologized to his fellow nominees that night, including Questlove, who went up to accept the award for Best Documentary Feature immediately following the slap.
“To all my fellow nominees, you know, this is a community, It’s like I won because you voted for me,” Smith said. “And it really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment. I can still see Questlove’s eyes. You know, it happened on Questlove’s award. And, you know, it’s like, I’m sorry really isn’t sufficient.”
Closing out the video, Smith told fans, “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.”
In the wake of the slap, the Academy has placed a 10-year ban on Smith from attending the Oscars and other Academy functions, though he will still be eligible for nominations.
Rock, meanwhile, recently addressed the incident during a stand-up performance in New Jersey.
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” he joked, according to US Weekly. He went on to say he wasn’t a “victim,” joking, “Yeah, that sh-t hurt, motherf–ker. But I shook that sh-t off and went to work the next day … I don’t go to the hospital for a papercut.”