‘I was out of line, I was wrong’, Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock
Oscar-winning actor, Will Smith, has tendered an apology to comedian and Oscar award ceremony anchor, Chris Rock, for slapping him on stage after he cracked a joke about his wife, Jada, at the Oscars.
Safe to recall that it was the second time Rock would use Jada as a punch line at the Oscars.
In 2016, he did the same thing when he mentioned her in his opening monologue at the awards show.
Jada has been public about her alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss. Hence, Smith felt Rock’s jokes were in bad taste.
Just a few minutes after the slap incident, Smith was back on stage to accept the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena in King Richard.
He later apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees without mentioning the incident or Chris Rock in his acceptance speech.
However, Smith has officially tendered an apology to Rock in a statement on his social media accounts.
The statement read;
‘‘Violence in all 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.”
“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.”
“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. I am a work in progress.’’
Meanwhile, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, organisers of the Oscars, tweeted early Monday that it “does not condone violence of any form.”
“Tonight, we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
Later in the day, the academy announced it was now reviewing the incident.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr Smith at last night’s show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident. According to the Associated Press, we will explore further action and consequences according to our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law.”
It has also been reported that Rock’s upcoming comedy tour has seen a spike in ticket sales following Will Smith’s slap at the Oscars.
According to Variety, secondary ticket purchasing site TickPick reported that they had sold more tickets for Rock’s shows last night than they had in the past month.
TickPick, a New-York based online marketplace for events tickets, also added that ticket prices in the secondary market jumped over 200 per cent, from $46 per ticket on March 18 to a minimum of $341 now.
Rock is headed on his Ego Death World Tour and will perform alongside Kevin Hart in what they’re calling Only Headliners Allowed, for a few dates later this year at New York and New Jersey locations.