AceShowbiz - Will Smith has broken his silence following his awkward confrontation with Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards. The Best Actor winner issued a public apology to the comedian on Monday, March 28, admitting that his act was "unacceptable and inexcusable."
"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive," he began a statement posted on his Instagram page. "My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable." He tried to justify his anger as saying, "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."
Still, the "King Richard" star regretted his act. "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris," he continued. "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."
He also addressed his statement to the Academy and the "King Richard" cast and crew as saying, "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."
Will issued the apology as the Academy "condemns" the slap and has officially started a formal review around the incident. "The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show," the organization said in a statement. "We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law."
The decision reportedly comes just hours after the officers of the Academy's Board of Governors, including president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, had an emergency phone call on Monday to talk about the incident.
Will slapped Chris at the Sunday, March 27 ceremony after the latter joked about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. While Will was seen being comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry after the incident, Chris was reportedly consoled by Wanda Sykes and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Following the incident, it was reported that the "Saturday Night Live" alum has decided not to press charges against Will. "LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program," the LAPD said in the statement. "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."
Prior to Will's public apology, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, who served as one of presenters at the show, said at the Vanity Fair Oscars bash on Sunday that Will and Chris have settled their feud. "That's not a problem. That's over. I can confirm that," the hip-hop mogul told Page Six, adding, "It's all love. They're brothers."
However, a source clarified on Monday that Diddy "spoke to both [Will and Chris] separately after it happened which has been confirmed," but the two "didn't speak to each other."
It's currently unknown if Will has personally reached out to Chris before issuing the public apology.