The 2022 Oscars will be remembered for a long time… although not for the reasons many would like. It says a lot when it’s easier to remember that this edition was the one where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, than who ended up taking the award for best picture (CODA).
After months away from the public eye, the actor has finally appeared publicly to answer about his actions. The video, which you can see at this link, tries not only to apologize, but also to try to reconcile many of the questions regarding the events after the altercation. For example, Smith answered why he didn’t apologize to Rock during his acceptance speech (in case you forgot, he received the 2022 best actor award at the end of the night).
“I was confused at that point,” Will Smith begins in his apology. “It was all blurry. I contacted Chris and the message he got is that he is not ready to talk. When it is, he will contact me. I’ll tell you, Chris, I apologize. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here when you’re ready to talk. I want to apologize to Chris’s mom. I saw an interview [ella] did, and that was one of the things that I just didn’t realize. I wasn’t thinking, how many people were injured at that time. I want to apologize to Chris’s mom, I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. This is probably irreparable. I’ve spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and complexity of what happened at the time. I’m not going to try to unpack all of that now, but I can tell all of you, there isn’t a part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at the time. No part of me thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insult.”
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During his apology, Smith also took time to talk about the audience’s reaction to his slap. She especially apologized to the other nominees.
“Disappointing people is my core trauma. I hate when I let people down, so it hurts me psychologically and emotionally to not live up to the image and impression people have of me. The work I’m trying to do is, I’m deeply sorry and I’m trying to be sorry without being ashamed of myself. I’m human and I made a mistake and I try not to think of myself as a piece of shit so I would say to those people I know it was confusing I know it was shocking but I promise I’m deeply dedicated and committed to putting light, love and joy in the world. If you hang in there, I promise we can be friends again.”
Several Smith projects were canceled after what happened at the 2022 Oscars. Netflix, for example, put several films that were going to have the leading actor in the archive. The new Bad Boys movie was also put on hold and the future of the film has been questioned on several occasions. Meanwhile, Rock has seen a considerable increase in attendance on his show while also making minor mentions of the incident (usually in a humorous tone) here and there.
Images: ENTER.CO Archive