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Will Smith's Recorded Response About His Oscars Slap Is A Lot To Take

Will Smith has finally broken his months-long silence over the Chris Rock Oscars slap. The actor posted a YouTube video on Friday morning, July 29, that includes multiple apologies, an explanation of all the emotions he's been dealing with, and several other topics related to the March 27 incident. 

"It's been a minute," the opening caption of Smith's video read. "Over the last few months, I've been doing a lot of thinking and personal work," the on-screen text said. "You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer." 

Smith, 53, forever changed the course of Hollywood history — and his own career — when he slapped Rock during an award presentation. Rock, who recently spoke out about the incident, had been poking fun at Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, for having her head shaved. The fellow movie star reportedly suffers from alopecia. Smith apologized for his actions days later in an Instagram statement, saying his behavior was "unacceptable and inexcusable." But the "Aladdin" and "King Richard" star never spoke about what happened publicly until now.

Smith apologizes to Chris Rock's mother, brother, and countless others

Throughout Will Smith's YouTube video, the Best Actor winner issued multiple apologies to not only Chris Rock but the comedian's mother, brother, family, his wife Jada, his own children, and all the other Academy Award nominees who were being honored the night of the slap. Smith also explains that he's reached out to Rock for forgiveness but has yet to hear back. 

"I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk," Smith said. "And when he is, he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk. I want to apologize to Chris' mother. I saw an interview that Chris' mother did and, you know, that was one of the things about that moment I just didn't realize, and, you know, I wasn't thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment. So I want to apologize to Chris's mother. I want to apologize to Chris's family. Specifically, Tony Rock...Tony Rock was my man. And this is probably irreparable." Turning his attention to Jada and his own family, Smith says: "I'm sorry, babe. I wanna say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us." He then apologized to the nominees, telling them: "You know, this is a community, It's like I won because you voted for me. And it really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment." 

According to Smith, disappointing people is his "central trauma," which means he hates to let people down. "So it, it hurts, it hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn't live up to people's image and impression of me," the actor explained before diving into what his next steps are.

Smith wants to move past the Oscar slap

At the end of his YouTube video, Will Smith explained that he's ready to accept responsibility for his actions and ultimately move past all the trauma surrounding his Oscars slap. He described earlier how it's been a bumpy and emotional road for him since the incident, but also very impactful. 

"I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and, and the complexities of what happened in that moment," Smith said. "And I'm not going to try to unpack all of that right now. But I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There's no part of me that thinks that's the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults." Concluding his video with some more self-reflection, Smith explains that he's been putting work in on himself that he hopes people will get to see one day. 

"The work I'm trying to do is, I am deeply remorseful, and I'm trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself," Smith said. "I'm human. And I made a mistake and I'm trying not to think of myself as a piece of s**t. So I would say to [fans], 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. And, you know, if you hang on, I promise we'll be able to be friends again."