Actor Will Smith has issued a public apology to comedian Chris Rock after he slapped Rock across the face during the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday.
"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was 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," Smith wrote in a statement shared on Instagram Tuesday.
"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," he added.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, while Rock was presenting the award for best documentary, he jokingly compared Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, to G.I. Jane, presumably because she is bald. Pinkett Smith suffers from Alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes one's hair to fall out, often in large clumps.
After Rock delivered his joke, Smith walked up on stage and slapped Rock across the face.
Smith then returned to his seat and shouted, "Keep my wife's name out your f***ing mouth," several times at Rock.
Nearly 40 minutes later, Smith was invited back on stage to accept the Oscar for Best Actor. While accepting the award for his performance as Richard Williams, the father to tennis professionals Venus and Serena Williams, Smith apologized to his fellow nominees and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Rock was not mentioned in the on-stage apology.
He further apologized to the Academy and all those involved in the show in his Tuesday statement.
"I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us," he wrote. "I am a work in progress."
The Los Angeles Police Department has been informed of the assault, but according to reports, Rock has declined to press charges.
According to Vanity Fair, the Academy is also discussing possible disciplinary actions over the assault.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law," the Academy wrote in a statement. A copy of the organization's standards of conduct was sent alongside their statement.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Handout, Getty Images/Jason Merritt/TERM/Staff
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.