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Will Smith apologises to Chris Rock for “unacceptable” Oscars slap

Will Smith has apologised to Chris Rock in a new video explaining the Oscars slap, and discussed the personal journey he's been on since it happened

Chris Rock and Will Smith

After several months of silence on the infamous Oscars slap, Will Smith has published an apology video for Chris Rock. During a five-minute Q’n’A where Smith addresses a number of issues surrounding the incident, he calls what happened “unacceptable”, and states he’s remorseful for his actions.

“I will say to you, Chris, I apologise to you,” Smith says. “My behaviour was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.” Smith claims he’s attempted to contact Rock privately, but couldn’t reach the comedy movie star. “The message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk,” Smith explains, “and when he is, he’ll reach out.”

This all stems back to this year’s Academy Awards, when Will Smith walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face for making jokes about Jada-Pinkett Smith’s hair. As you might imagine, it became the most widespread talking point of the night and has continued to reverberate throughout Hollywood. It’s been reported that some Will Smith movies were shelved as a result, though Martin Lawrence has confirmed Bad Boys 4 is still happening, at the very least.

Smith goes on to address if he acted on his wife, Jada Pinkett’s behalf, which he unequivocally denies. “No, it was a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,” he says. “Jada had nothing to do with it.” He goes on to apologise to her, as well as their children, and Chris Rock’s mother.

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Since the slap, Smith says he’s been doing a lot of introspection. “I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened,” he states. “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.”

Chris Rock recently mentioned the slap during one of his stand up shows, stating that although the strike hurt, he “shook that shit off and went to work the next day.”