Thursday, October 6, 2022

Willow Smith Reacts to Her Father Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

Will and Willow
Will Smith and Willow Smith

*Willow Smith is finally speaking publicly about her father Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony.

In a new interview with Billboard, Willow spoke about her upcoming new album and opened up about the incident, saying the backlash against Will didn’t “rock me as much as my own internal demons.”

“I see my whole family as being human, and I love and accept them for all their humanness,” she explained. “Because of the position that we’re in, our humanness sometimes isn’t accepted, and we’re expected to act in a way that isn’t conducive to a healthy human life and isn’t conducive to being honest.”

Her comments come shortly after Will shared a video clip on social media in which he apologized to Chris for the first time since his initial apology back in March.

READ MORE: Will Smith Apologizes to Chris Rock Who’s ‘NOT READY’ to Speak with Him About Oscars Slap | WATCH

 

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A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith)

“It’s all fuzzy,” Smith says in the video. “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out.”

During the 94th Academy Awards in March, Rock made a “G.I. Jane 2” joke directed at Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head, which the actress shaved because she’s allegedly battling alopecia. The joke caused Will to sock Chris in the face out of anger. Smith resigned from the Academy after the slapping incident, and the organization banned him from attending the Oscars for 10 years. 

In his latest Instagram video, Smith called his behavior “unacceptable.”  The actor said he responded violently because Rock joked about Jada’s hair loss. 

“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,” the actor says in the clip, Daily Mail reports. 

“I just didn’t realize how many people got hurt in that moment, so I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I want to apologize.”

Smith also made clear that Jada did not instruct him to slap Rock.

“I made a choice of my own from my own experiences from my history with Chris.  Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe,” said Smith.

“I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us,” he continued. 

“To all my fellow nominees, this is a community. It’s like, I won because you voted for me and it breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment.”

Smith said he has spent the “last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment.”

“’I’m not going to 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,” he added. “There is no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”
Smith ultimately closed the video with a pledge to learn from his mistakes.

“I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking,” he says. “But I promise you, I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world. And, you know, if you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again.”

Watch his full video statement below.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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