Will Smith apologises to Chris Rock over Oscars slap

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  • Will Smith has issued an apology to Chris Rock, after slapping the comedian onstage at the Oscars.
  • "I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong," Smith wrote in a statement on Instagram.
  • Smith's apology comes after both the Academy and Richard Williams condemned the actor's violent behaviour.

Actor Will Smith apologised Monday to Chris Rock for hitting the comedian during the live broadcast of the glitzy Oscar ceremony in Hollywood.

"I would like to publicly apologise 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," the winner of the best actor Oscar wrote on Instagram.

Smith further apologised to the Academy, the Williams family and the King Richard family, after he won the Oscar for portraying Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.

The apology also comes after the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, the body that awards the Oscars, said it was launching a formal review of the shocking incident when Smith attacked the comedian over a joke about his wife.

UPDATE | Academy 'condemns' Will Smith's actions and has launched a review into the incident

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable," Smith said in his apology.

"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's apology follows a statement made by Richard Williams via his son, condemning Smith's behaviour.

After the Men In Black actor referenced the character he portrays in King Richard, Chavoita LeSane told NBC on behalf of his father, "We don't know all the details of what happened, but we don't condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it's in self-defense."

During his acceptance speech, Smith said: "Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father ... Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world."

READ MORE | The Fresh Prince and the King: That Oscar moment was rooted in something much deeper

Rock has not yet responded to Smith's apology, nor has he pressed charges against the actor for the assault.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to Variety that comedian "declined to file a police report" following the altercation, noting that should he want to do so at a later stage the "LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report".

OPINION | Forget Will Smith, there's nothing okay about Chris Rock's repeated insults towards Jada Pinkett Smith 

Additional reporting by Bronwyn McKay

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