Will Smith spoke out about his attack on Chris Rock at this year’s Academy Awards, offering his most candid thoughts about the controversy that has marred his public image.
In a recent YouTube post, Smith explained why he didn’t apologise to Rock when he accepted the best actor award for his work in “King Richard” shortly after he stormed onto the stage and slapped the comic for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s short haircut.
“It’s all fuzzy,” Smith says. “I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out.”
Smith once again expressed that he was sorry for his actions, calling his behaviour “unacceptable.” The actor has said he responded violently because Rock’s joke referenced the hair loss that Pinkett Smith suffers because of her alopecia. It’s a battle that Pinkett Smith has publicly addressed in the past.
“There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment,” Smith said in the video. He sighs deeply at intervals and appears to be fighting back tears. “There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”
Watch the video below.
Smith additionally responded to questions about whether or not Pinkett Smith, who was seen on camera rolling her eyes at Rock’s joke, had encouraged him to run onto the stage. The actor said his wife said nothing to motivate him to strike Rock.
“It’s like, you know, I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,” Smith says. “Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe. I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us.”