Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock & Questlove in new video: “my behavior was unacceptable”
"It's been a minute," says Will in the opening titles for the five-minute video. "Over the last few months, I've been doing a lot of thinking and personal work. You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer."
Questions appeared on screen that Will also read, and then answered into a wireless mic set up in front of a couch. The first question: "Why didn't you apologize to Chris in your acceptance speech?" Will said, "I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk."
Will then went on to apologize to Chris Rock's mother. "I saw an interview with Chris’ mother, and that was one of the things about that moment," he said. "I just didn’t realize, and I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment."
“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the complexities and nuances of what happened in that moment,” Smith continued. “I’m not gonna try to 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 of insults.”
The second question was "When Jada rolled her eyes, did she tell you to do something?" Smiling, he said emphatically, "No. I made a choice on my own." He also brought up Questlove, who had to accept the Best Documentary Feature award that Rock presented right after the slap. "I can still see Questlove’s eyes," Smith said. "It happened on Questlove’s award, and 'I’m sorry' really isn’t sufficient."
Will ended the video, saying, "“Disappointing people is my central trauma. I hate when I let people down. It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to peoples image and impression of me. The work I’m trying to do is, I am deeply remorseful and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I’m human and I made a mistake and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of shit.”
Watch the video below.