Update: Will Smith Apologizes To Chris Rock For Punching Him – I was out of line and wrong
Update #1: Will Smith has issued a public apology. Today (March 28th), he wrote a message on social media apologizing to Chris Rock, The Academy, The Williams family and more. He writes:
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.
He specifically apologizes to Chris Rock, writing:
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.
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Original Story: Legendary actor Will Smith stunned the world last night (Mar. 28) when he charged onto the Oscars stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock across the face. Although Smith snagged a golden statuette for his performance in King Richard following the incident, many are left wondering if he’ll get to keep it.
The awards show quickly recovered from Will’s sudden act of chivalry, tweeting:
“The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
According to the Academy’s code of conduct, which was released in 2017, they likely wouldn’t tolerate guests putting their hands on one another.
Of Academy membership, AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson stated that year:
“In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity,”
“There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency. The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality. The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy’s mission and reflective of our values.”
One could argue that the “Summertime” rhymer was defending his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, against Rock’s insensitive joke. Rock compared Pinkett-Smith–who’s been vocal about her battle with alopecia–to G.I. Jane. The 1997 character, played by Demi Moore, became well-known for her bald head.
“Jada, I love you, ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it.”
Pinkett-Smith was visibly upset about the jab, which prompted her husband to get physical with Rock, who hosted the show.
After the brief altercation, Smith returned to his seat and shouted:
“Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth!”
Reports of past conflict between the Smiths and Chris Rock immediately resurfaced. There’s a possibility that when Rock hosted the ceremony back in 2016, made several jokes about the famous pair, who wasn’t in attendance. One of his comments included:
“Jada said she’s not coming. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!”
He made another comment about Will’s Concussion film:
“Will was not nominated for ‘Concussion.’ I get it. You get mad. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. You’re right,” he said. “It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for ‘Wild Wild West.'”
At the time, Jada brushed it off and told a media outlet that it “came with the territory.”
Will received support from comrades Tyler Perry and Denzel Washington and partied after the show.
However, some didn’t agree with Will striking Rock, with whom he once shared the screen for an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel–Air in the early 90s.
Knocked Up director Judd Apatow tweeted and deleted:
“He could have killed him. That’s pure out of control rage and violence. They’ve heard a million jokes about them in the last three decades. They are not freshman in the world of Hollywood and comedy. He lost his mind.”
But his son, Jaden Smith, sided with his father’s actions:
“My Dads Speech Made Me Cry.”
“And That’s How We Do It.”
His former TV aunt, Janet Hubert, also showed her support:
“So PROUD OF YOU! Yes there is only so much one can take…sometimes you have to slap back. Celebrate the win…nothing else matters. Both actions were incorrect but Chris didn’t need to go there. Met him once… it was enough for me…very mean spirited. #kingrichardfirthewin.”
Jada’s mother, Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield Norris, didn’t directly address the situation, but she did congratulate her son-in-law on his win:
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,”
“The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”