Actor Will Smith has posted a new emotional apology for slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards earlier this year, revealing in an extended video that he reached out to the comedian who wasn’t “ready to talk” yet.
Smith – who won Best Actor – walked on stage and hit Rock for making a joke about his wife, in an incident that overshadowed the March concert, as it was broadcast live around the world.
“Chris, I apologise. My behavior has been unacceptable. And I’m here, whenever I’m ready to speak,” Smith repeated in the nearly six-minute video, in which he also answered fans’ questions about the shocking moment his public image was tarnished.
Smith had made a public apology shortly after the incident, and was banned from attending the Academy Awards for the next 10 years after the slap.
The 53-year-old also quit his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – although the organization did not rescind his Best Actor award for “King Richard”.
In a video posted on social media on Friday, Smith said his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, who was sitting next to him and frowned while Rock joked about her, had said nothing to attack her.
“I made a decision on my own,” he said, and also apologized to Pinkett Smith and the couple’s children “for the heat it brought us all.”
“No part of me thinks this is the best way to deal with feeling disrespected or insulted,” said the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor, who at one point in the video appears to be fighting back tears.
Us Weekly reported that Rock addressed the slap earlier this month during a stand in New Jersey.
He reportedly joked that “anyone who says painful words has not been punched in the face” before adding, “I’m not a victim… I don’t go to the hospital to get a paper.”