Will Smith releases apology video for slapping Chris Rock

NEW YORK >> Will Smith has again apologized to Chris Rock for hitting him in a new video during the Oscars broadcast, saying his behavior was ‘unacceptable’ and that he reached out to the comedian to discuss the incident, but Rock was told not ready.

“There’s no part of me that thinks it was the right way to behave in that moment,” Smith said in the less than six-minute video posted online today. “I’m deeply remorseful and I try to be remorseful without feeling ashamed of myself.” To Rock, he said, “I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”

Smith, sitting in a polo shirt and white ball cap, spoke directly into a camera and answered pre-selected questions about his behavior at the Academy Awards on March 27, when he slapped host Rock after the comedian made a reference to Jada’s hairstyle Smith, Smith’s wife, made Pinkett.

Smith also apologized to Rock’s family and particularly his mother, Rosalie, who was horrified to see her son hurt, telling US Weekly, “When he hit Chris, he hit us all. He really slapped me.” Smith also apologized to Tony Rock, Chris’ younger brother.

“I didn’t realize how many people were hurt at that moment,” Smith said.

Smith also apologized to his family “for the heat I brought on us all” and his fellow Oscar nominees for “stealing and spoiling your moment.” He mentioned Questlove by name; it was the musician-director’s documentary win for Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) that was cut short by the slap in the face. Rock was on stage to present the Documentary Award.

Smith also said his wife did nothing to encourage his slap. “Jada had nothing to do with it,” he said. “I Made My Own Choices” Pinkett Smith has said she has alopecia areata, a hair loss disorder.

After the altercation, the film academy banned Smith from attending the Oscars or any other academy events for ten years. Smith apologized to Rock in a statement after the Oscars, saying he was “out of line and I was wrong.”

“I’m really sorry, that’s not enough,” Smith said in the video, adding that he was hurt because he didn’t live up to fans’ impressions. “Disappointing people is my central trauma.”

Many had speculated Smith would appear on camera to first discuss the slap on Pinkett Smith’s online series Red Table Talk, but he chose to do so in a social media video post with no further questions or surprise questions do.

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