In a long video clip that he posted on his website, actor Will Smith apologizes again for slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars earlier this year. He says that he has reached out to Rock but that he is not yet “ready to talk.”
In a controversial episode that dominated the March presentation, which was live-streamed around the world, Smith, who later won the best actor award, stormed on stage and punched Rock for making a joke about his wife.
“Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable. And I’m here, whenever you’re ready to talk,” Smith reiterated said in the nearly six-minute video, in which he also answered fans’ questions about the shocking moment that has tarnished his public image.
Shortly after the event, Smith issued a public apology. Following the slap, Smith received a 10-year Oscars attendance ban.
The 53-year-old also gave notice of his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but the group did not take away his best actor prize for the film “King Richard.”
Smith claimed that his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, who sat next to him and grimaced when Rock made jokes about her, said nothing in the video that sparked his attack. The video was shared to social media on Friday.
“I made a choice on my own,” he said, apologizing also to Pinkett-Smith and the couple’s children “for the heat that I brought on all of us.”
“There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults,” says the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor, who at one point in the video appears to be fighting tears.
Rock addressed the slap earlier this month during a stand-up set in New Jersey, Us Weekly has reported.
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” he reportedly joked, before adding “I’m not a victim… I don’t go to the hospital for a papercut.”