On Monday (March 28), the decorated actor issued a formal apology on his Facebook and Instagram accounts and directed his apology at the comedian.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” expressed Smith. “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.”
Similar to his Best Actor acceptance speech, Smith reiterated his apology to the Academy, the producers of the show, attendees, viewers. He also addressed the Williams family and expressed deep regret that his behavior has “stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey” for all of them in bringing King Richard to life. Smith simply ended his statement with “I am a work in progress.”
The 53-year-old entertainer’s apology comes hours after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a statement condemning the star’s actions. A full formal review has been launched with the Academy’s Board of Governors set to evaluate the matter and membership code of conduct on Wednesday.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” it read. “We have 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.”
Chris Rock has yet to respond or issue a statement. See Smith’s full statement below.