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Read Will Smith's apology to Chris Rock

Will Smith slaps actor and comedian Chris Rock onstage during the Oscars.
Robyn Beck
/
AFP via Getty Images
Will Smith slaps actor and comedian Chris Rock onstage during the Oscars.

Will Smith has publicly apologized to Chris Rock for slapping him across the face on the Oscars stage Sunday night.

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable," Smith wrote on Instagram.

The apology comes hours after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday condemned Smith's actions and launched an official inquiry into the incident.

The altercation between Smith and Rock happened after the comedian made a joke at the expense of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

When Rock took the stage to present the Oscar for best documentary feature, he directed his comedy to the couple. Rock said he was looking forward to seeing Pinkett Smith in G.I. Jane 2 — making fun of her shaved head. She has shaved her head because of the hair loss condition alopecia.

Smith wrote in his apology, "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."

Pinkett Smith has been public about the fact that she is living with alopecia and has been candid about it: "Me and this alopecia are going to be friends ... period!" she wrote on Instagram last December.

The Oscars took a tense turn after the slap. But Smith later won the best actor Oscar for his role in King Richard.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz