The Academy also expressed regret to Chris Rock.
Before calling a special board meeting in response to actor Will Smith’s Oscars attack on comedian Chris Rock, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spoke with him on Zoom in New Delhi. According to Variety, Will Smith apologized to the Academy on the Zoom call after winning Best Actor immediately after the altercation. The Academy convened to discuss the appropriate course of action for the King Richard actor who assaulted and cursed Oscar presenter Chris Rock after the latter made a joke about Will Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
The Zoom chat, according to a source who spoke to Variety, lasted 30 minutes; another source called it “short.” According to Variety, Will Smith apologized once more to the Academy’s CEO Dawn Hudson, and President David Rubin. He also did so in an Instagram post where he specifically apologized to Chris Rock.
The incident began when Will Smith’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, was on stage accepting the Best Documentary Feature award when comedian Chris Rock made a joke about her being in “G.I. Jane” because of her shaved head. This incited The Pursuit of Happyness actor, who hit Chris Rock before returning to his seat and yelling, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*****g mouth.” Will Smith later expressed regret to the Academy and his fellow nominees when he accepted the Best Actor award.
However, Will Smith later apologized to Chris Rock on Instagram and stated that he is sorry “I would like to formally apologize to you, Chris, for what I did, and an excerpt from my post mentioned that I was “embarrassed” by what I did. I made a mistake and stepped out of line. I feel ashamed because they did not reflect the kind of man I aspire to be. In a world of love and generosity, violence has no place.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologized to Chris Rock for the event and began a “formal examination” of the situation earlier this week. The Academy issued a statement that read, “Mr. Rock, we regret to you for what you endured on our stage and appreciate you for your resilience in that time,” according to the news agency AFP. Additionally, it claimed that Will Smith was asked to leave the Oscars after receiving a slap but refused; however, this story has been called into question.
As he was playing at the Wilbur Theater for his comedy show, Chris Rock said, “If you came to hear about what occurred, I don’t have a lot to say about it, but I did write a full show on it before this weekend. I’m still figuring out what happened. I’ll thus eventually talk about that garbage. It will also be humorous and serious “according to Variety.