After delivering arguably the most shocking moment in Oscars history, Will Smith took to social media Monday to express his remorse over Sunday night’s events.
Smith made headlines after slapping Chris Rock for a joke the comedian made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, while presenting the award for Best Documentary. Rock commented that he “can’t wait for G.I. Jane 2” in reference to Pinkett Smith, who has openly discussed dealing with alopecia since 2018.
Smith, who later won Best Actor for his portrayal as Venus and Serena Williams’s father, Richard, in King Richard, explained his actions in an apology to Rock on Instagram.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” Smith wrote. “Jokes at my expense are 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.”
Following his on-stage altercation with Rock, Smith walked back to his seat before yelling, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—— mouth” twice in Rock’s direction.
“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.”
Sunday marked the first Oscar win of Smith’s career after being previously nominated two times for Best Actor.