It was the slap heard around the world back on March 27, 2022, at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony when Will Smith walked on stage after an unsavory Jada Pinkett Smith joke and slapped Chris Rock before returning to his seat to finish the show.
Ever since, Smith has kept a low profile and Rock almost immediately went on tour. While Rock initially refused to even talk about the incident, over time he started to loosen up, making a joke here and a quip there.
Most recently, Smith became the butt of the joke when Kevin Hart and Dave Chappelle were on hand to gift Chris Rock with a goat.
Meanwhile, Will Smith saw several of his projects canceled or on hold as the film industry tried to figure out what would happen to one of the world’s biggest stars after the way he acted on stage at the Oscars.
As for his punishment, the Academy has banned Smith from any Oscars events for 10 years. However, he is still eligible to have his films nominated and win awards, he just won’t be able to accept them.
Now, just over four months after the slap, Will Smith has surfaced with an apology for Chris Rock, one that he isn’t ready to accept.
Will Smith issues a public apology to Chris Rock
On June 29, Will Smith shared an emotional video titled It’s been a minute… on YouTube where he finally personally addressed the Oscars slap.
In the video, which is just over five minutes long, Smith addresses why he didn’t apologize to Rock immediately as he accepted the Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard. He said, “I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy.”
Then he explained, “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out.”
Smith addressed Rock directly, looking at the camera, and said, “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
Smith went on to apologize to Chris Rock’s mother, his brother Tony, calling his relationship with him “irrepairable.”
“I was out of line and I was wrong,” he added. “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.”
‘Will Smith’ recently took the stage with Chris Rock
Just days prior to Will Smith’s long-awaited apology, he again became the butt of a joke.
It all went down last weekend at Madison Square Garden when Kevin Hart took the stage to present Chris Rock with a pet goat.
With Dave Chappelle on hand for the gift-giving, Hart went on to explain that the goat’s name is Will Smith, in reference to the Oscars slap that no one can stop talking about.
Later, while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Hart explained that he gifted Rock the goat because he is the “greatest of all time.”