Jada Pinkett Smith posted an Instagram message on Tuesday morning (March 29) declaring that “this is a season for healing” a day after her husband, actor Will Smith, made international headlines for storming the stage at Sunday night’s Academy Awards to smack presenter comedian Chris Rock.
“And I’m here for it,” Pinkett Smith added in the post, which made no direct reference to the incident, which came after Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head that referenced the film G.I. Jane; the actress revealed in 2018 that she has been diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder alopecia, which causes hair loss.
While Will Smith initially seemed to laugh at the joke, shortly after Pinkett Smith was filmed rolling her eyes, Smith walked briskly onto the stage and slapped Rock, who was visibly shaken up by the open-handed assault. The actor and stand-up — who produced, narrated and co-wrote the award-winning 2009 documentary Good Hair, which explored how hairstyles “impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships and self-esteem of the Black community” — tried to continue his pre-planned banter, but was interrupted again when the King Richard actor reiterated his point once he sat down and twice shouted, “keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth.”
A short time later, Smith won the best actor Oscar for his role as controversial, hard-charging tennis family patriarch Richard Williams in King Richard, and during a tear-filled speech he apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees, but, pointedly, not to Rock.
On Monday, however, Smith posted an Instagram apology to Rock, in which he wrote, “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.”
The lengthy post continued, “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.”
Diddy, who took the Oscars stage after Rock to present a 50th anniversary tribute to The Godfather — promising the two men that “we’re going to solve that like family” at that night’s afterparty — reportedly told Page Six that Rock, 57, and Smith, 53, had made up later in the night and that “that’s over.”
Rock has declined to press charges against Smith for the incident, according to the Los Angeles Police Department; the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a statement on Monday in which it condemned Smith’s attack on Rock, revealing that it has “officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
See Pinkett Smith’s statement below.