Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock for slapping him live at the Oscars

Will Smith's slap on Chris Rock, during the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles, March 27, 2022.

They were expected, they arrived less than 24 hours after the incident that everyone is talking about in Hollywood. Actor Will Smith apologized via Instagram on Monday, March 28, to comedian Chris Rock, whom he slapped on the Oscars stage the day before after a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“My behavior last night at the Oscars was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s health issue was too much for me and I reacted emotionally.”explains in particular Will Smith.

I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. What I did was inappropriate and I was wrong. I’m embarrassed and my act doesn’t represent the man I want to be. Violence has no place in a world of love and kindness.

It was a joke by Chris Rock about the shaved head of Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife who suffers from alopecia – a condition causing severe hair loss, which she revealed to be suffering from a few years ago – that sparked the ‘scandal. Will Smith then went on stage and slapped him. “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” »launches the 53-year-old actor twice, once back in his chair.

Read also: Oscars 2022: Will Smith crowned best actor, just after a bout of live violence, Jane Campion best director, “CODA” best film

This apology from Will Smith comes shortly after the Academy of Oscars announced the opening of an internal investigation into this incident.

“The Academy Condemns Mr. Smith’s Actions During Last Night’s Show”writes the organization in a press release. “We have officially started an investigation into this incident”specifies the Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences, which will examine the follow-up to be given to the case with regard to its “California Regulations and Law”.

Chris Rock did not file a complaint

What is the risk of Will Smith crowned “best actor” a little later for his role in The Williams Method ? Some have called on the Academy of Oscars to withdraw his award.

Actress Whoopi Goldberg, one of the Academy’s trustees, felt that would not be the case. “There will be consequences, I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do, especially because Chris Rock said he wouldn’t press charges.”, she said on television. On the criminal level either, no prosecution seems possible at this stage for lack of a complaint from Chris Rock, the Los Angeles police said on Sunday evening.

Will Smith would therefore only expose himself to disciplinary sanctions, which can range according to the code of conduct of the Academy from a simple reprimand to expulsion.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Hollywood, the Oscars devote diversity

The first punishment inflicted on the actor came from social networks, where many denounced the violence he showed. The strongest condemnation came from American actor and director Judd Apatow in a tweet that he later deleted but comedian Mia Farrow took up: Will Smith “could have killed him. He simply lost control of his anger and his violence (…). He lost his mind. »

San Francisco Golden State Warriors star basketball player Stephen Curry said he “still in shock, like everyone else”.

For British writer Bernardine Evaristo, whose father is Nigerian, Will Smith missed an opportunity to set an example, especially for African-Americans: while he is not “that the fifth black man in nearly 100 years to win an Oscar for a title role and the first in 16 years, [il] resorts to violence instead of using the power of words to defeat Chris Rock”she denounced on Twitter. “And then he invokes God and the love that would have made him do this”she still lambasted.

Some supporters

Richard Williams, father of tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams whom Will Smith embodies in his film, let it be known through the voice of his son that he “did not condone any violence against anyone”according to NBC television.

Will Smith first apologized to the Academy of Oscars on Sunday, saying, in tears, that “love makes you do crazy things”while condemning the “people who disrespect you”.

Rapper Sean “Daddy” Combs assured Sunday after the ceremony that the two men had passed on this blow of blood. ” This is not a problem. It’s finish. I can confirm it”Diddy told the people site Page Six.

” Everything is fine “confirmed shortly after, to variety, Will Smith himself. The actor shunned the Oscars press room after receiving his trophy.

Some celebrities, however, have given their support to Will Smith. Former One Direction singer Liam Payne reacted to reporters: “I believe whatever he did, he had the right to do. »

The elected Democrat of Massachusetts Ayanna Pressley, also suffering from alopecia, thanked him in a tweet since deleted. “Congratulations to all the husbands who defend their wives with alopecia in the face of ignorance and everyday insults”, she had written. Will Smith was also defended by actress Tiffany Haddish: “That’s what your husband is supposed to do, right?” Protect you »she told People magazine.

The World with AFP

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