Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock: ‘I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s–t’


Will Smith is apologizing for his “unacceptable” assault on Chris Rock. 

In the months since handing down the slap heard ’round the world on Rock, 57, after the comedian made an off-color joke during the 2022 Academy Awards, Smith, 53, has finally issued a mea culpa via his YouTube channel Friday. 

“I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he is not ready to talk,” admitted the “King Richard” star. “But when he is, he will reach out.”

Smith went on to say sorry for slapping Rock after the Brooklyn-born comedian made a controversial joke aimed at Jada Pinkett Smith, 50, while taking center stage at the Oscars. 

“So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you,” he said with visible contrition. “My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”

He added: “I’m human and I made a mistake and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s–t.”

Will Smith released a 5-minute apology video on YouTube.
YouTube/Will Smith
Smith took to his YouTube channel Friday to apologize to Rock for his Oscars slap.
Getty Images

The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” legend went on to apologize to Rock’s mother, Rosalie, and his younger brother, actor Tony Rock, 48. 

“I didn’t realize and I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt in that moment,” admitted Smith. “And I wanna apologize to Chris’ mother.”

“I want to apologize to Chris’ family, specifically Tony Rock,” he continued. “We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. And this is probably irreparable.” 

“I reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk but when he is, he will reach out,” Smith said in the video. “I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. my behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
YouTube/Will Smith

Smith went on to say: “I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment.

“I can say to all of you that there is no part of me that thinks that this was the right way to behave in that moment,” he asserted. “There’s no part of me that thinks that this is the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insult.”

Smith denied that his wife Jada Pinkett Smith had anything to do with his attack on Rock.
ABC via Getty Images

And when asked if Jada urged him to confront Rock after the professional joker made a wisecrack about her hair, Smith let out an emphatic, “No.” 

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“I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it,” he insisted before also apologizing to her and their children. 

“I’m sorry babe,” said Smith. “And sorry to my kids and family for the heat that I brought all of us.”

So far, neither Rock nor his family members have openly acknowledged Smith’s video apology.