Will Smith has publicly apologised to Chris Rock and the Academy for his ‘unacceptable’ behaviour at the Oscars on Sunday evening.
Before presenting an award, Rock said to Will’s wife: ‘Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2,’ appearing to reference her short hairstyle. The Red Table Talk host has previously opened up about her struggles with alopecia, and following the remark Will got on stage and slapped the comedian before fuming, ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.’
Shortly afterwards, Will won the Best Actor award and used his acceptance speech to briefly address the altercation, apologising to the Academy and saying: ‘You’ve gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you’ve gotta be able to have people disrespecting you.
‘Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams but love will make you do crazy things.’
The controversial moment has divided Hollywood A-listers, and Will has since taken to Instagram to share a lengthy apology, stating: ‘Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour 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 apologise 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 apologise 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 behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will.’
Last night, the Academy released a statement saying they do not condone violence, ‘condemn the actions of Mr Smith’ and have ‘officially started a formal review around the incident’.