He also apologized to his mother and family and added that he is ready whenever Chris Rock is ready to talk.
Will Smith is addressing Chris Rock directly, for the first time since hitting him onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards. Smith, 53, stormed the stage at the Oscars and smacked Rock, 57, across the face four months ago. On Friday, Will posted a video on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook in which he apologized to Rock once more, reports PEOPLE. He says in the video, "I'm here whenever you're ready to talk. 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." The King Richard star added, "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."
Will explained why he did not apologize to Rock during his Oscar victory speech for Best Actor. "I was fogged out by that point. It's all fuzzy," he said. He also went ahead and apologized to Chris' mom, "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. So I want to apologize to Chris's mother; I want to apologize 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."
"I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the complexities and nuances of what happened. I'm not gonna try to unpack all of that right now but I can say to you, there was no part of me that thought that was the right way to behave in that moment," Smith further explained in the video.
Until Chris Rock pulls up a seat at the Red Table, his stand-up shows are how he’s responding to being slapped at the Oscars — and presumably Will Smith’s latest apology. https://t.co/T3NIABVaYw— HuffPost (@HuffPost) July 31, 2022
Rock has made brief jokes about the Oscars during stand-up performances since then, but he hasn't spoken about it in depth. On Sunday, he performed a stand-up comedy show alongside Kevin Hart at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, per US Weekly. During his performance, he said, "I'm not a victim, motherf---er." He added, "Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face. Yeah, that s--- hurt, motherf---er. … But I shook that s--- off and went to work the next day … I don't go to the hospital for a paper cut."
Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock for the Oscars slap in a 5-minute long video— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 29, 2022
“I reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk but when he is, he will reach out”https://t.co/FlZjiL8s5Q pic.twitter.com/a5aHxKVoQ1
Smith came onstage and struck Rock on live television before winning Best Actor at the Oscars on March 27, after taking issue with a remark about wife Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. Jada lives with a condition called alopecia, which leads to significant hair loss. Smith later resigned from the Academy and was barred from attending any of their ceremonies for the following 10 years. He said in a statement released after his resignation, "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris." The statement further read, "I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness."
Cover Image Source: Will Smith/Youtube