Will Smith makes his first public statement in months in an attempt to mend fences with Chris Rock, Geraint Vincent reports
Will Smith has apologised to Chris Rock over his infamous Oscars slap, telling the comedian he is “ready to talk” whenever he is comfortable to do so.
In his first public statement in months, given via video posted on his social media channels, Smith said he did not say sorry during his acceptance speech because he was “fogged out.”
He spoke directly to the camera and answered a series of questions about the incident on March 27.
“It’s all fuzzy,” he said, when asked why he didn’t apologise on stage.
“I have reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he is not ready to talk and when he is he will reach out.
“So I will say to you Chris, I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk.”
Smith also apologised to Rock’s mother and father, adding: “I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened in that moment.
“And I’m not going to try and unpack all of that right now but I can say to all of you that there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There is no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle feelings of disrespect or insults.”
Smith was banned from all Academy events or programmes for 10 years following his “unprecedented” behaviour at the 94th Academy Awards.
It came after Smith stormed the stage and slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair loss as a result of the medical condition alopecia.
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He added in his video message that his wife had no part in his slap, saying he made the choice "on my own."
Shortly after the altercation, Smith returned to the stage to collect the gong for best actor for his performance in King Richard, his first Academy award, which he has been allowed to keep.
Two days on from the incident, Smith issued a public apology to Rock and the Oscars production team, admitting he reacted “emotionally” to the joke and saying that “violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive”.
Pinkett Smith also called for a “season of healing” on her own social media post.