Updated Mar 28, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock: "I was out of line"

Photo of Will Smith wearing aviators and a suit

Will Smith attends the 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Barker Hangar on Feb. 27 in Santa Monica, Calif. Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Actor Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock in an Instagram statement Monday, less than 24 hours after he struck the comedian at the Oscars.

Driving the news: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said earlier on Monday that it condemns Smith's actions. Smith, who won the Oscar for Best Actor on Sunday night, will be subject to a formal review.

What he's saying: Rock had made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. The joke was "too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally," Smith said.

  • "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable."
  • "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris," he added. "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."

The big picture: Smith, who went on to win an Oscar for best actor, apologized for his actions during an emotional acceptance speech, though not to Rock directly. "Love will make you do crazy things," he said.

  • Pinkett Smith has been open about her struggle with alopecia, which is the No. 1 cause of hair loss in African American women, according to dermatologist Yolanda M. Lenzy.
  • Richard Williams, the father of Serena and Venus Williams whom Smith portrays in the film "King Richard," told NBC News via his son Chavoita LeSane that "we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defense."
  • Rock declined to file a complaint with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Times reports.
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