Will Smith Apologizes to Chris Rock for Oscars Meltdown: ‘I Was Wrong’

Will Smith and Chris Rock After Oscars Slap (Credit: YouTube)

Will Smith has apologized to Chris Rock for slapping the comedian onstage at Sunday night’s Oscars.

In a lengthy statement Monday on Instagram, Smith admitted what he did was “inexcusable.”

“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” the statement said. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. 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.”

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The King Richard star also included an apology to everyone involved with the Oscars, as well as Venus and Serena Williams and the people watching the telecast at home.

“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world,” he continued. “I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress.”


The actor’s apology came amid increasing fallout in the entertainment industry. On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — which hands out the Oscars — said it has launched a formal review of Smith’s actions.

“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the organization said in a statement. “We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”

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SAG-AFTRA also chimed in, saying the union is looking into disciplinary action against Smith.

“As the union representing presenters and other performers working on the Oscars, SAG-AFTRA is focused on ensuring our members always work in a safe environment,” SAG-AFTRA said. “Violence or physical abuse in the workplace is never appropriate and the union condemns any such conduct. The incident involving Will Smith and Chris Rock at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable. We have been in contact with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC about this incident and will work to ensure this behavior is appropriately addressed. SAG-AFTRA does not comment on any pending member disciplinary process.”

Smith smacked Rock after the Oscars presenter made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, and suggested she could star in the sequel to G.I. Jane due to her bald head. The actress has been open about having alopecia, which causes sudden hair loss.

When Rock made the comment, the camera cut away to Jada who appeared upset. Will Smith then stormed the stage, slapped Rock in front of the live audience and said, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fu–ing mouth!”

Smith won his first Academy Award on Sunday, but the win has been overshadowed by slapgate.