A day after slapping Chris Rock in a viral moment at the Academy Awards, Will Smith issued an apology to the comedian for “inexcusable” behavior.
The “King Richard” actor gave a speech after winning Best Actor and getting a standing ovation Sunday night and then celebrating at an afterparty, but Monday was cleanup.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith said. “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. 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.”
He also apologized to the film academy, producers of the telecast, attendees, viewers, and the Williams family.
“I am a work in progress,” Smith added.
His apology came after the film academy announced it was launching a formal review into his behavior “and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law.”
Rock made a “G.I. Jane 2” joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head, which she suffers from alopecia, and Smith walked on stage, slapped Rock, then shouted from his seat, “get my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”