*CORRECTION: This article originally referenced a statement issued by comedian Chris Rock. The statement has been found to be false. As of this update, Rock’s team has not issued a formal statement.
A Tale of Two Statements: Will Smith and Chris Rock’s Response to Oscar Slap (Los Angeles, CA) — Violence. It comes in many forms. From microaggressions, verbal aggressions, to physical aggression. At some point, society must make a conscious decision that we, as a whole, have experienced enough violence throughout our history. Unfortunately, humanity is nowhere near that point.
When loved ones are the targets of such aggressiveness, even in jest, irrational behavior can take hold. At the Oscars, Chris Rock referenced Jada Smith’s alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss, with a J.I. Jane 2 joke, referencing a movie in which Demi Moore famously had her head shaven. Will Smith responded by slapping Chris Rock for the insult to his wife.
Regarding this behavior, Will Smith released the following statement:
“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. 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.”
A Tale of Two Statements: Will Smith and Chris Rock’s Response to Oscar Slap