Will Smith To Chris Rock: ‘I Would Like To Publicly Apologize To You… I Am A Work In Progress’

We’re living in a world where Russia and Ukraine are at war and a pandemic that has been going on for more than two years has so far killed more than 6.1 million people. Yet the only thing people seem to be able to talk about since last night’s Oscars ceremony is the surprising moment when Will Smith took a swing at Chris Rock live, for all the world to see.

While reports have confirmed that Rock refused to press charges against Smith, both parties have remained relatively silent on the matter—save for the comments Smith made while accepting the Best Actor Oscar shortly after the slugfest went down, in which he apologized to the Academy and his fellow attendees, but not Rock.

Now, as Variety reports, the King Richard star has issued a formal apology to Rock via Instagram, in which the newly-minted Oscar winner admits to being “embarrassed” by his actions and calls himself “a work in progress.” The statement reads as follows:

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 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.

As of this posting, Rock has yet to respond. Read Smith’s full Instagram post below.

(Via Variety)