Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock and his mother for “the slap”

by Ezekiel J. Walker
Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock and his mother for "the slap"
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In a video posted online Friday, Oscar-winning actor Will Smith apologized directly to Chris Rock in his most extensive public comments since slapping him at the Academy Awards in March.

“My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk,” Smith said.

Responding to why he hadn’t apologized to Rock during his acceptance speech for his lead role in King Richard, “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,” Smith said. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you.”

Will Smith apologizes as Chris Rock and family remain distant.

In an interview with NBC affiliate station WIS of Columbia, South Carolina, in April, Rose Rock (Chris’s mother) said in part: “When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us.”

Smith later extended his apologies to Rose, and his younger brother, Tony.

Tony Rock starred in the 2007 UPN sitcom “All of Us,” which was co-created by Smith. “We had a great relationship,” Smith said in the video. “Tony Rock was my man and this is probably irreparable.”

Smith went on to say that he also wants to apologize to Rock’s mom: “I saw an interview that his mother did. That’s one of the things about that moment I didn’t realize, I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment.”

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Chris Rock has largely gone without publicly commenting on the matter until according to Entertainment Tonight, he took the stage at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, July 23, where he co-headlined the Only Headliners Allowed comedy tour with Kevin Hart. During Rock’s set, he reportedly “made a joke about Will during a bit about ‘cancel culture,’ joking that ‘anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” a source confirmed.

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