Will Smith

Read Will Smith's Apology for Slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars: Full Text

Here's the full text of Will Smith's apology, and what to know about the situation that brought it about.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Hollywood is still reeling from the dramatic moment at the 94th Academy Awards when Will Smith jumped on stage and slapped Chris Rock, just minutes before going on to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in "King Richard."

While Smith tearfully apologized to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in his acceptance speech for the award Sunday night, his apology then notably did not directly address Rock.

A day later, on Monday, Smith apologized directly to Rock in a public statement issued by his publicist and posted to Instagram.

Here's the full text of that apology, and what to know about the situation that brought it about.

The full text of Will Smith’s apology

Will Smith's apology was posted to Instagram on Monday afternoon.

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. 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.

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.  

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.


Did Chris Rock accept Smith’s apology?

Chris Rock and his team haven't yet publicly commented on Will Smith's apology.

The last posts on his social media accounts are from March 9, long before the Oscars, and no news outlets have reported any response from Rock as of Tuesday morning.

The Los Angeles Police Department said Sunday night that Chris Rock has declined to press charges against Will Smith for the slap.

What led to the slap in the first place?

It all started with a joke Chris Rock made about Jada Pinkett-Smith's hair, which she decided to shave after being diagnosed with alopecia.

The comedian went off-script from the jokes he made during rehearsals for the awards show, according to two sources close to production who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Rock joked that Pinkett-Smith should star in G.I. Jane 2, apparently because her head is shave.

Pinkett-Smith has publicly discussed her struggle with hair loss after discovering she has alopecia, an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks hair follicles, causing hair to fall out.

It also wasn't the first time Rock has made a joke, at the Oscars, at Pinkett-Smith's expense. In 2016, he poked fun at both Smiths for their decision to boycott the ceremony over a dearth of nominees of color that year.

"Jada said she's not coming," Rock said while hosting in 2016. "I was like, 'Isn't she on a TV show?' Jada's gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited."

The Smiths played off the jokes about them in 2016, but it did build a prickly history to the 2022 incident.

Pinkett-Smith did not laugh at the joke Rock made on Sunday night.

Will Smith then jumped on stage, walked up to Rock, and slapped him.

Once seated he again, on camera, yelled at Rock "Keep my wife’s name out of your f—— mouth!”

The joke, slap and backlash are probably not what Smith had in mind when he made a pre-Oscars Instagram post Sunday, where alongside pictures of himself and his wife in their awards attire, he included the caption "Me 'n @jadapinkettsmith got all dressed up to choose chaos."

Days later, reactions have spanned the full range from condemnation to defense of Smith.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences fell firmly on the side of condemnation, saying Monday that it will review Smith's actions and "will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law."

Has Chris Rock apologized for the joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith?

Chris Rock has not yet issued an apology for his "G.I. Jane" joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith during the Oscars.

Text of an apology that appeared to come from Chris Rock made the rounds on social media Monday, but according to fact-checking site Snopes, that apology was false, and came from a random Facebook user, not Rock or his team.

Has Jada Pinkett-Smith said anything yet?

Jada Pinkett-Smith hasn't explicitly said anything related to the joke, the slap or the ensuing controversy yet.

She has, however, made an Instagram post with black text on a pale pink background, reading only "This is a season for healing and I'm here for it."

The Tuesday morning post, while cryptic, is the first one Pinkett-Smith has made since everything went down Sunday night, according to E! News.

It's not quite clear whether the post is a direct response to the altercation between her husband and Chris Rock, or if she'll be releasing any other statements about the incident.

Contact Us