Will Smith Releases Apology Video For Oscars Slap – NBCNEWS

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After four months of silence following “the slap heard around the world” at the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith released a nearly six-minute apology video addressing the controversy for the first time since March. At the time, Smith walked onto the stage and punched the presenter Chris Rock after he made a bad joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smithand stayed in the venue for the rest of the night, even receiving his Best Actor award.

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Titled “It’s been a minute…” the video shows Smith apologizing for his actions by answering some burning questions about what happened that night. To start, Smith explained why he didn’t apologize to Rock for his role in… King Richard. “I was foggy at the time,” Smith said, noting that everything was a blur after that. “I’ve contacted Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk yet, and if he is, he’ll get in touch.” He also once again apologized directly to Rock and reaffirmed that his behavior was unacceptable.

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Smith also expressed remorse for Rock’s family, especially his mother Rosalie Rock Who spoke out against Smith in April, and said publicly: “When he hit Chris, he hit us all.” He also addressed the brother of Rock Tony Rock, fearing that their once-strong relationship may now be “irreparable.” Tony was one of the most openly critical of Smith’s first apology.

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After lengthy apologies to Rock and his family, Smith voiced claims that Pinkett Smith asked him to do something about Rock’s prank. Rock had referred to Pinkett Smith as “GI Jane” and seemed to be making fun of her alopecia. At that point, Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes at the jab, and when Smith looked at her, some assumed she had told him to confront Rock onstage. Putting those rumors to bed, Smith tells the camera as he seems to be fighting back tears: “It’s like, you know, I made my own choice from my own experiences and from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry honey. I want to say sorry to my children and my family for the heat I put on all of us.”

Smith also faced heat for how he tarnished the Oscars as a whole, specifically ruining the moment for Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson whose victory for Summer of the soul was overshadowed by “The Slap.” Smith apologized to his fellow nominees, noting that stealing that moment from them is something that cannot be retrieved by remorse. “I can still see the look in Questlove’s eyes,” Smith said. “I’m really not sorry enough.”

To conclude the video, Smith addressed the fans and anyone who was disappointed with his actions that night. He expressed his fear of not living up to expectations, while also describing the personal work he is doing to get past the incident and grow:

“The work I try to do is, I deeply repent and I try to repent without being ashamed of myself. I am human and I made a mistake and I try not to see myself as a piece so I would say to those people I know it was confusing I know it was shocking but I promise you I am very committed am committed to bringing light, love and joy into the world. If you persevere, I promise you we’ll be able to be friends again.”

Smith’s status in Hollywood will be tested after this apology thanks to Apple’s Emancipation from Antoine Fuqua. Given the actor’s longstanding reputation in the industry, he still has a lot of support among fans who see “The Slap” more as a momentary error of judgment. However, after a 10-year Oscar ban, it will still be a heavy stigma to shake for the star.

Watch Smith’s full apology video below.

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