Disgraced star Will Smith has come back from his apparent disappearance, posting a video where he answers questions on the March incident when he slapped fellow actor Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars.
The video, titled It’s been a minute is nearly six minutes long and shows Smith sitting at home as he answers questions from fans and critics about the moment. He expressed regret and remorse for the moment that has cast him out of the Hollywood spotlight, perhaps permanently.
“It’s been a minute…,” text on the video begins. “Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work. You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.”
Smith read and answered questions about the shocking moment when he came onstage at the Academy Awards show and slapped Rock after the comedian had made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Minutes later, Smith was awarded a Best Actor Oscar for his role as Richard Williams, father of Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard.
“Why didn’t you apologize to Chris in your acceptance speech?” Smith begins, reading a question.
“I was fogged out by that point,” he says. “It’s all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out.”
Smith apologizes to Rock, his family and in particular the comedian’s mother, who he says he saw in an interview and realized how much the incident had hurt her.
“I just didn’t realize, and you know, I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt in that moment,” Smith said. “So, I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically [Chris Rock’s younger brother] Tony Rock. You know, we had a great relationship. You know, Tony Rock was my man. And this is probably irreparable.”
Smith also was asked if his wife had pushed him to act on her behalf when he attacked Rock.
“No. I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, and my history with Chris,” Smith says. “Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe, and I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us.”
Smith had previously issued multiple apologies, including shortly after the incident. Smith slapped Rock in the face after the comedian mocked Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head amid her hair loss battle. A stunned Rock absorbed the slap and carried on.
“Will Smith just slapped the s*** out of me,” he said as the actor returned to his seat and yelled for Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your F—ing mouth.” Smith was not removed from the building and later took the stage to accept his first Oscar ever — Best Actor for his role in the film King Richard.
Some days later, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a 10-year ban, preventing the actor from attending the annual awards show.
“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment, and I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now,” Smith says in the video. “But I can say to all of you now there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment.”
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