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Will Smith Issues Public Apology to Chris Rock

Bernadette Forster Culture /
will smith oscars slap
Myung Chun / Contributor via Getty Images

Hollywood has been in shock ever since Will Smith and Chris Rock's onstage altercation at the Oscars on March 27th, 2022. The whole thing went down after Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's medical condition. But if by some chance you missed it...

The 94th Academy Awards got "flipped-turned upside down" as the Fresh Prince stormed the stage to confront Rock with a slap that stunned viewers around the world. The smack came after the comedian referenced his wife Jada's bald head in a "G.I. Jane" joke that prompted her to roll her eyes. Many people, including celebrities Nicki Minaj and Tiffany Haddish, found the joke to be in poor taste, given Jada's history of speaking about her alopecia diagnosis, which resulted in hair loss. On the other hand, others found Will Smith's actions to be inappropriate - including the King Richard actor himself. He later issued a public apology to Rock in a statement posted on the 'gram.

"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," wrote the Hollywood star. He continued to address Chris Rock directly, saying, "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." Seeing that Rock has declined to press charges against Smith, we hope we're right in assuming these two have settled their feud.

will smith chris rock
ROBYN BECK / Contributor via Getty Images

Following the heated moment on stage, Will Smith went on to win his first Oscar ever for his performance in King Richard. In his acceptance speech, he revealed that fellow Best Actor nominee Denzel Washington had spoken to him after the incident, telling him, "At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you." In his Instagram statement, Smith also apologized to his co-stars who worked with him on the King Richard project. "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," read the caption. "I am a work in progress."