A day after what has become a stunning event, popular Hollywood actor Will Smith has rendered a public apology to his peer Chris Rock for slapping the latter after he mocked the wife of the former. The event has attracted global attention as it has occurred on the stage of spotlight during the Oscars ceremony. While the event has spurred mixed reactions with several voices of solidarity for Will Smith, the Oscars said it has launched a probe into the incident.
In a post on Instagram, Will Smith has divulged how his action of slapping Chris Rock has impacted him. By citing that his behavior was unacceptable and inexcusable, Will Smith has said he reacted emotionally as Chris Rock's remark landed as a jibe at Smith's wife Jada Pinkett-Smith. His post has been going viral across and beyond the borders, while the Oscars are probing the incident amidst Rock's decision not to go legally against Will Smith.
In the post, Will Smith wrote, "Violence in all of its 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." He further said, "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", he added.
He further stated, "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. Sincerely, Will." Earlier on Monday, the Academy has released a statement in which it has condemned Smith's actions, but no major condemnations were offered to Chris Rock, whose remark was in the fashion of insulting Will Smith's wife.
In its statement, the Academy said that it condemns the actions of Mr Smith at last night's show. "We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law", the statement added. Reacting immediately after the slapping incident, the Academy said, "The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight, we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Award winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world."
Will Smith has won his first Oscar award for the best actor in the movie 'King Richard'. However, as the Academy Awards has launched a probe into Will Smith's action, the question of whether the award will be withdrawn from him has arisen. But, Smith is on the safe side that the award won't be taken back from him. Speaking to The View on Monday, Whoopi Goldberg, a member of the Academy's Board of Governors, said, "We are not going to take that Oscar from him. There will be consequences, I'm sure."
A recap of what has happened at the ceremony:
The Oscars ceremony was hosted by Dolby Theater on Sunday in Los Angeles. The city was busy with the red carpet-welcoming of the stars from across the world for the prestigious ceremony. It was going well with smiles and celebrations until the event has put the hall in a dire silence. Actor Chris Rock was apparently slapped by Will Smith, who then, in a warning tone, told him to keep his wife's name out of his mouth.
Actor Chris Rock came to the stage to announce the winners for the best documentary feature award. However, before divulging the winner, Rock has made a joke about Will Smith's wife Jada Pinkett-Smith saying that she could star in the sequel to the movie 'GI Jane'. Rock's joke didn't go well with Will Smith as it was in reference to Pinkett-Smith's shaved head because of a disorder called 'alopecia'. Following the joke, Will Smith went to the stage and strongly slapped Chris Rock, which took everyone into shock.
Chris Rock was heard saying, "Jada, can't wait for GI Jane 2". After Will Smith slapped him, Rock said, "Wow. Will Smith just smacked (expletive) out of me." After Smith came back to his place, he shouted at Rock, saying, "Keep my wife's name out of your (expletive) mouth." The visual of the event has gone viral across and beyond the borders with several people extending solidarity to Will Smith and slam Chris Rock for his jibe at Pinkett-Smith under the guise of a joke, despite knowing the disorder.
Though Rock kept the show going, he was apparently shaking and later, he said, "That was the greatest night in the history of television." The cheerful arena took some time to come back to normal while the viewers from around the world went posting Rock's comment and Smith's slap on social media and wrote their connotations.
Oscars' decision to remove Will Smith:
Nearly forty minutes after the incident, Will Smith took the stage again, and this time to lift the Oscars for the first time. While accepting the best actor award for his role in King Richard, Will Smith broke down into tears and apologized for his action. In a long speech, he said, "I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I am not crying for winning an award."
"I'm taking up too much time...Thank you for this honour. Thank you for this moment and thank you on behalf of Richard and Oracene and the entire Williams family. Thank you. I hope the Academy invites me back. Thank you", he added.
In his speech, Smith said what his fellow nominee Denzel Washington told him while comforting him after he burst out against Chris Rock. He said, "At your highest moment be careful, that's when the devil comes for you." The incident has drawn the speculations of possible legal action against Will Smith. However, the Los Angeles Police Department has said it was aware of the incident but not pursuing an investigation because the person involved (Chris Rock) declined to file a police report.
According to CNN, the leadership of the Academy had strongly considered removing Smith from the Oscars telecast after the incident. However, the leadership wasn't able to mobilize the decision-makers to decide on the matter ahead of Smith winning the best actor award. Along with the Academy, the Screen Actors Guild has also condemned Smith's action, calling the incident unacceptable and said that violence or physical abuse in the workplace is never acceptable.
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