Will Smith issues apology to Chris Rock for slapping him in the face at Oscars

"Violence in all forms is poisonous and destructive," actor posted apology after he assaulted Rock on live TV on Sunday night

Updated: March 29, 2022 - 8:59am

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Will Smith issued an apology Monday to comedian Chris Rock after smacking him during a live telecast of the Academy Awards on Sunday night.

In a message posted to the actor's Instagram on Monday afternoon, Smith called his behavior "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," he wrote. "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. Violence in all forms is poisonous and destructive."

His apology was also directed at the Academy, the attendees,  audience, Venus and Serena Williams, and everyone who worked on the film "King Richard," for which he won the "Best Actor" award on Sunday.  

"I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us," Smith wrote. "I am a work in progress."

Smith walked onto the stage Sunday evening and slapped Rock following a joke the presenter told about his wife's shaved head. While Smith seemed at first to laugh along with the rest of the audience, he was soon captured approaching the stage to land the smack. The actor then shouted "Keep my wife's name out of your f--king mouth!" twice. 

Less than an hour later, Smith won his award and tearfully apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees – he did not mention Rock at that moment. The actor was later seen dancing, singing and laughing the night away at an afterparty for the entertainment industry's biggest awards show. 

Following the incident, the Academy Awards tweeted a concise message saying that the organization "does not condone violence of any form." Though some wondered why Smith was permitted to remain at the show following his assault of a presenter.