“I’ve reached out to Chris and the message is – he’s not ready to talk.”
Will Smith has finally addressed his infamous altercation with Chris Rock at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, noting that he reached out to the comedian and has, at least for now, been rebuffed.
Earlier this week, Rock made a fresh statement about the incident during a stand-up performance, saying that he is “not a victim”.
Smith has mostly disappeared from public view since that fateful night, with some of his upcoming projects either in question or shelved entirely as Hollywood deals with the fallout of the slap heard around the world.
In a video posted to his YouTube account on Friday, Smith begins by first putting up introduction text stating how he’s “done a lot of thinking and personal work” in the past few months before answering the question of ‘Why didn’t you apologise to Chris in your acceptance speech?’.
“Um, I was fogged out by that point,” Smith begins. “It’s all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk. When he is, he will reach out. So, I will say to you, Chris, I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.
“I want to apologise to Chris’s mother,” Smith adds. “I saw an interview that Chris’s mother did and, you know, that was one of the things about that moment – I just didn’t realise and I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment.
“So I want to apologise to Chris’s mother, I want to apologise to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock – we had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. And this is probably irreparable.”
Smith then says he has spent the last three months “replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities” of what happened during the ceremony.
“I’m not going to try and unpack all of that right now but I can say to all of you – there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”
Smith then responds to a question of whether or not Jada Pinkett-Smith instructed him to confront Rock.
“No. I made a choice on my own from my own experiences, from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe.”
You can watch the full video below.
Clip via Will Smith