LOS ANGELES (AP) — The day after slapping Chris Rock on the Oscars stage and upending the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith issued an apology to the comedian, to the academy and to viewers at home, saying he was “out of line” and that his actions are “not indicative of the man I want to be.”
The fallout from Smith’s actions during Sunday’s ceremony continued Monday as Hollywood and the public continued to wrestle with a moment that stunned the Dolby Theatre crowd and viewers at home. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences condemned Smith striking Rock, who had made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and said it would launch an inquiry.
Later in the day, Smith gave a stronger apology than he did in his best actor acceptance speech, which notably hadn’t included an apology to Rock.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” said Smith in a statement issued by his publicist and posted on Instagram. “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.”