Will Smith apologizes for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, saying he was ‘out of line’ and ‘wrong’

March 29, 2022, 12:20 AM UTC

Actor Will Smith has apologized for slapping Chris Rock on stage during the 2022 Oscars award ceremony on Sunday, calling his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable.”

Smith, who won an Academy Award for King Richard, in which he played the film’s title character, made his apology on Monday in an Instagram post. He said he was “out of line” and personally apologized to the ceremony’s organizers, the public, and to Rock, who had made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. 

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith said. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.”

Smith’s outburst shocked attendees and viewers of the Academy Awards ceremony and overshadowed the annual Hollywood entertainment gala in which the Apple original film CODA won best picture.

The Academy Awards organizers condemned the incident and said it would investigate. Los Angeles police said they would not pursue the matter after Rock declined to press charges.

Rock’s joke centered on the shaved head of Pinkett Smith, who has spoken publicly about having the medical condition, alopecia, which results in hair loss.

Here’s Smiths’ full statement:

Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. 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.  
I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.

I am a work in progress.



Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.