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Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock for slapping him at Oscars

THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Will Smith as William 'Will' Smith -- Photo by: Chris Cuffaio/NBCU Photo Bank

CELEBRITY NEWS - Karen Smith Post

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THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR — Season 1 — Pictured: Will Smith as William ‘Will’ Smith — Photo by: Chris Cuffaio/NBCU Photo Bank

The day after slapping Chris Rock on the stage of the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith issued an apology to the comedian, the academy and viewers at home, saying he was “out of line” and that his actions are “not indicative of the man I want to be.”

 

Later in the day, Smith gave a stronger apology than he did in his best actor acceptance speech, which notably hadn’t included an apology to Rock.

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” said Smith in a statement issued by his publicist and posted on Instagram. “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.”

KING RICHARD AWARDED

The 53-year-old actor added apologies to the film academy, producers of the telecast, attendees, viewers and the Williams family. Smith was honored Sunday for his role as Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena, in “King Richard.”

“I am a work in progress,” added Smith.

After calling a board of governors meeting Monday to discuss the incident, the film academy said that it review Smith’s actions and “will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law.” The Los Angeles Police Department said Sunday it was aware of the incident but was not pursuing an investigation because the person involved declined to file a police report.

jada pinkett-smith

Smith shocked the Dolby Theatre crowd and viewers at home when he took the stage after Rock, appearing as a presenter, joked: “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it.”

The joke touched a nerve. Pinkett Smith, whose head is shaved, has spoken publicly about her alopecia diagnosis. Smith strode on stage and slapped Rock across the face. Back in his seat, Smith twice shouted for Rock to “get my wife’s name out your (expletive) mouth.” His words echoed clearly throughout the Dolby, though broadcaster ABC cut the audio for about 15 seconds. Within an hour, Smith won best actor, receiving a standing ovation. During his five-minute acceptance speech, Smith spoke about defending his family. He also apologized to the academy.

CHRIS ROCK HISTORY OF OSCARS JOKES

Rock’s joke wasn’t part of his routine during the rehearsals leading up to the show, according to two sources close to production who were not authorized to speak publicly.

But Rock had joked about Pinkett Smith before. He hosted the 2016 Oscars, when some were boycotting the ceremony over the #OscarsSoWhite group of nominees, including the Smiths. Said Rock then: “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”