Will Smith says he is remorseful and has reached out to comedian Chris Rock following the slap heard around the world.
Three months since shocking the world when he walked up to Rock and slapped him during this year’s Academy Awards, Smith is shedding more light on what happened that day.
In a video posted across his social media platforms earlier today, Smith addressed questions posed by social media users.
Asked why he didn’t apologise to Rock during his Best Actor acceptance speech, Smith said he was fogged out.
He said he reached out to Rock and the message that came back is that he is not ready to talk and he will reach out when he is.
“Chris I apologise to you, it was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk,” said Smith who also apologised to Rock’s mother.
“I didn’t realise, I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt in that moment,” he said, also apologising to Rock’s brother Tony, who he said he had a great relationship with.
Smith said he spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and complexities of his actions.
He stressed that there is no part of him that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment.
Smith also denied that his wife Jada instructed him to act after she rolled her eyes at Rock’s joke comparing her bald head to GI Jane.
Smith said she had nothing to do with it and he made a decision based on his own experiences and his history with Rock.
He also apologised to his fellow nominees, stating that he could see Ahmir “Quest Love” Thompson’s eyes as the musician accepted his award for Best Documentary amidst the confusion after the slap took place.
“I am sorry really isn’t sufficient,” he said.
To the fans that he let down, Smith said disappointing people is his central trauma and it hurts.
“It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me and the work I am trying to do is that I am deeply remorseful and I am trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself,” he said.
He said he is deeply devoted to putting light and love into the world and if his fans hang on he assured them they will be friends again.
Since the infamous slap, Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture, Art and Sciences and was banned from the Oscars for ten years. He has kept a low profile since.
Rock meanwhile has been on tour and on July 24 addressed the incident reportedly joking that anyone who says words hurt hasn’t been slapped in the face.
He insisted however that he is not a victim and joked that he shook the sh*t off and went to work the next day.