Once again, Will Smith is apologizing to Chris Rock over the slap heard (and seen) around the world.
Will Smith, who shockingly hit Rock onstage during March’s Academy Awards ceremony, posted a videotaped apology Friday on Instagram. He said he knows that just saying sorry “is not enough.”
In the apology, one of Hollywood’s elite actors acknowledged his yet-unrealized efforts to reconcile with Rock. Will Smith also said he still doesn’t know why he walked onstage and hit Rock before he presented an Oscar.
The video comes after Rock finally addressed the incident during a stand-up show on Sunday, Harpers Bazaar reports. While performing at Madison Square Garden in New York, Rock reportedly quipped that “anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.” He added that he was still processing the incident and wasn’t ready yet to elaborate further about it.
Rock also recently said he didn’t care about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, asking for reconciliation.
During the Oscars, Rock — who was serving as a presenter at the awards show, cracked what many believe to be an innocuous one-liner about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. That sent Smith into a profanity-laced tirade and prompted him to walk onto the stage. He then slapped Rock in the face during the live TV broadcast.
Despite the incident, Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams, in King Richard.
Friday’s video was at least the second time Smith publicly apologized to Rock. Roughly two months ago, he did so via social media.
The new video starts in silence, with a message reading: “Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work. You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.”
Story continues after the video.
Will Smith’s Emotional Apology To Chris Rock
With a long sigh, Smith takes a seat and rubs his hands to answer a few questions from fans.
Smith’s discussion starts with the question, “Why didn’t you apologize to Chris in your acceptance speech?”
Smith shakes his head, saying, “I was fogged out by that point. It’s, it’s, it’s all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk. And when he is, he will reach out.”
Then, Smith looks into the camera and professes: “So, I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk. I want to apologize to Chris’ mother [and family].”
Smith admits that his mistake “is probably irreparable.”
“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment,” he says. “And I’m not going to try to 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 … to handle a feeling of disrespect and insults.”
Smith clarifies that his wife didn’t tell him to slap Rock.
“I made a choice on my own from my own experiences, from my experiences with Chris. Jada hadn’t nothing to do with it,” he said.
Will Smith Apologies To Best Documentary Nominees
He also apologized to his colleagues and the other nominees in the Best Actor category for taking attention away from them. Additionally, he said he was sorry to those in the Best Documentary Feature Film category, during which the incident with Rock occurred.
“It really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment,” he says.
Specifically, he apologized to Summer of Soul director Questlove, who won the documentary trophy.
“I’m sorry really isn’t sufficient, “Will Smith continues. Disappointing people is my central trauma. I hate when I let people down. So it, it hurts. It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me.
“The work I’m trying to do is I am deeply remorseful, and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself,” the video continued. “I’m human, and I made a mistake. I’m trying not to feel like a piece of sh–.”
Smith concludes by saying, “I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking, but I promise you I am deeply … committed to putting light and joy in the world. If you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again.”
The video drew more than 655,000 likes on Instagram a mere two hours after Will Smith posted it.