will smith

Will Smith Explains the Oscars Slap 4 Months After the Fact (And We’re Pretty Sure He’s the Only One Who Gives AF About It)

Remember the infamous Oscars slap between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Academy Awards? It happened after Rock made a G.I. Jane joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The joke was a reference to the actress’ bald head, which is the result of alopecia. Will Smith then climbed onstage and slapped a shocked Chris Rock.

will smith

After accepting an Academy Award for Best Leading Actor for his role in King Richard, Smith said this: “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”

If he thought that was all it was going to take to collectively wipe the incident from our minds (not to mention our browsers), boy was he wrong. It was the slap heard ‘round the world at the time, and it was all the internet wanted to talk about for weeks.

But four months have gone by, and if you’re like us, that’s an eternity. We’re not even the same people we used to be! We hardly even remember the slap – OK, we remember it. We just don’t care anymore. We have bigger things on our minds, like inflation, recession, nukes, climate change, the end of civilization as we know it.

Not so for Will Smith. He still feels the need to address his own personal Armageddon on social media, in the form of a YouTube video.

“It’s been a minute,” the 5-minute-plus video begins. “Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work.”

Then Smith appears on camera and sits down on a sofa. He proceeds to answer fan questions, like, “Why didn’t you apologize to Chris in your acceptance speech?”

Smith responds, “I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he is not ready to talk — and when he is, he will reach out.”

Then Smith does take the opportunity to apologize, even if it’s just to a screen (and millions of YouTube viewers): “I will say to you, Chris: I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk,” he says.

Smith continues babbling, stating for the record that Jada didn’t encourage him to slap Rock on her behalf. (No, he makes poor decisions all by his own damn self.)

Then he gets deep into his own psychological issues. “Disappointing people is my central trauma,” he says. “I hate when I let people down. It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me. The work I’m trying to do is, I’m deeply remorseful, and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself.”

In conclusion, Smith reassures his fans that the Oscars slap was an aberration that won’t happen again.

“I know it was confusing. I know it was shocking — but I promise you I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world,” he says. “If you hang on, I promise we will be able to be friends again.”

If you say so, Will.

What do you think, armchair critics? Was this a sincere and much-needed get-it-off-your-chest message? Or does this just seem like too little, too late — or, alternatively, too much information? We smell a publicity stunt, but maybe we’re just cynics. That, and we’re sick of talking about the slap.

Cover Photo: YouTube