Will Smith Issues Apology To Chris Rock And The Academy Over Oscars Situation

The question hanging over all the post-Oscar Ceremony discourse today was whether or not Will Smith was going to make an official statement on the slap heard around the world in which the soon-to-be Best Actor-winning star struck Chris Rock on live TV for making a joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett Smith. We've heard from The Academy that they're launching a formal investigation into the shocking moment and we've heard from celebrities, pundits, commentators, and pretty much everyone in the world besides Will Smith.

Smith won the gold statue for his portrayal of Richard Williams, father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in "King Richard." He had tears rolling down his face as he apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees, but not to the person he struck.

Now, Smith has released a public statement via his Instagram that served as an apology to Chris Rock. 

Will Smith's apology

The full apology has been reprinted below:

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.



Chris Rock declined to file charges against Smith even before the formal apology was issued, and P. Diddy, who presented just after Chris Rock, told Page Six that the two have spoken privately and resolved their issues.

It is still unknown what actions The Academy itself will take. Their statement today indicated their review of last night's events could take weeks before they come to a decision.