More than three months after the violent room he slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars, Will Smith is apologizing in a lengthy video.
• Read more: Will Smith beat Chris Rock to win the Oscar
• Read more: Six Scandals That Marked the History of the Oscars
In a sequence that lasted more than 5 minutes, Oscar-winning actor Chris Rock apologized to the comedian’s family, his own family and everyone he hurt.
“I tried to reach Chris and I was told he wasn’t ready to talk to me. When he was, he would contact me. I mean…Chris, I apologize. My behavior was unacceptable and I’ll be there if you want to talk to me,” Will Smith explains in a pre-recorded message.
He says he was unable to apologize that same evening because the events were so fresh that he felt foggy after the fact.
It is addressed to all the Oscar nominees in attendance that evening. “It breaks my heart to think that I stole and tarnished your moment.”
He says the events hurt him psychologically and emotionally, thinking about the negative image and impression he left behind.
He says he’s trying to work on himself, expresses his regret, and says he made a mistake.
“I’m trying not to look like a jerk.”
At the Oscars in March, Chris Rock joked about alopecia-stricken Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, prompting Will Smith to take the stage to slap the comedian.
Because of his behavior, the Academy of Oscars banned him from future ceremonies for ten years.
After the incident, the actor publicly apologized to the comedian, saying “he reacted emotionally” because “the Jada joke was too much for him.”
He also resigned from the academy.
“Pop culture practitioner. Award-winning tv junkie. Creator. Devoted food geek. Twitter lover. Beer enthusiast.”