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'Unacceptable and Inexcusable': Will Smith Apologizes for Striking Chris Rock at Academy Awards

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Actor Will Smith issued a public apology to Chris Rock on Monday after he slapped the comedian at the Academy Awards the night before.

In a statement posted to his Instagram, Smith explained that his behavior was "unacceptable and inexcusable."


"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive," he wrote. "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 apologized to Rock and said his attack on the comedian was "not indicative" of the man he hopes to become.

"I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong," Smith wrote in his statement. "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 also apologized to the Academy, the producers of the show, the attendees and viewers watching from home.

"I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us," he wrote.

During a standup comedy bit for the awards show, Rock made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

"Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it," Rock said. Pinkett Smith has alopecia, or hair loss, and has shaved her head.

Following Rock's joke, Smith walked onto the stage and slapped the comedian across the face. He then went back to his seat and yelled back at Rock to keep his wife's name "out your f---ing mouth."


Smith had apologized for his actions Sunday evening when accepting his Oscar award for best actor for his role in "King Richard" but did not address Rock at that time.

"I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to my fellow nominees," he said.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences condemned the incident Monday and said it will explore opening a formal investigation into the matter.

And according to the Los Angeles Police Department, Rock has decided against pressing assault charges against Smith.

"LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program," LAPD said in a statement. "The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report."

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