The apology posted on Instagram comes as the Academy reviews the incident, which was broadcast live around the world.
Actor Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock for hitting the comedian during the live broadcast of the dazzling Oscars ceremony in Hollywood
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am ashamed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be,” the best actor Oscar winner wrote on Instagram Monday night.
Smith came onstage and punched Rock in the face after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife’s appearance. Less than an hour later, Smith won best actor for his role as the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams in the film King Richard.
Rock, in a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, had made a reference to the 1997 film GI Jane in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head. It was not clear if Rock knew that Smith’s wife has a disease that causes her hair to fall out.
“Pranks at my expense are part of the job,” Smith said Monday, “but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me and I reacted emotionally.”
“I am ashamed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be,” he added. The couple has been married since 1997.
The apology comes after the 9,900-member Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, the body that awards Oscars, condemned the 53-year-old actor’s actions and said it was reviewing the incident.
“We have officially begun a formal review of the incident and will explore further actions and consequences in accordance with our statutes, standards of conduct, and California law,” the academy added.
The group’s conduct policy states that it “opposes any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination” and expects members to uphold the values ”of respect for human dignity, inclusion and a supportive environment that fosters creativity.”
Violations may result in suspension or expulsion from the organization, revocation of the Oscars, or loss of eligibility for future awards, depending on the policy.
SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents actors, called Smith’s actions “unacceptable” and said it had contacted the academy and broadcaster ABC “to ensure this behavior is properly addressed.” .
It is rare, but not unprecedented, for the film academy to revoke membership. Producer Harvey Weinstein was ousted in 2017 after more than three dozen women accused him of sexual assault. Weinstein was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison in March 2020 after being convicted of rape and other sexual offenses.
smith’s attack shocked divided audiences and celebrities.
Rock refused to press charges, according to US media.
In his statement, Smith also apologized to the academy, the show’s producers, attendees, viewers, the Williams family, and “my King Richard family.”
“Violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at the Academy Awards last night was unacceptable and inexcusable,” Smith wrote in his apology.