'Too little, too late': Will Smith slammed for 'forced' apology to Chris Rock after SLAPGATE

Will Smith issued an apology to Chris Rock for slapping him at the 94th Academy Awards, but fans believed that it was 'forced'


                            'Too little, too late': Will Smith slammed for 'forced' apology to Chris Rock after SLAPGATE
Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, at the 94th Academy Awards. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
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Almost a day after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage during the live ceremony of the 94th Academy Awards, the actor has issued a formal apology to the comedian, saying whatever he did was “unacceptable and inexcusable”. In what felt like a heartfelt post on his official Instagram account, the veteran actor admitted that violence is never the solution and he should have handled the situation better. Smith also admitted that it was hard for him to hear jokes about his wife’s medical condition and reacted “emotionally”.

He wrote, “Violence in all of its form is poisonous and destructive. 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.” For the uninitiated, the astonishing moment came after the Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, as he was on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature. In that joke, the comedian suggested that Jada was set to come out with a sequel to ‘GI Jane’, which seemed to be a reference to the actress’ shaved head. At first, Smith took it lightly, but a few seconds later, the whole world saw him taking the stage and slapping Rock. He did not stop here and after returning to his seat, he yelled “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth” twice.

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Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Getty Images)

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A few moments later he received the Best Actor trophy for his role in the movie ‘King Richard’ and took the opportunity to apologize for his behavior to the Academy and his fellow nominees. Interestingly, he didn’t apologize to the Rock at that time. However, he didn’t waste any time in issuing an apology in his post on the image-sharing platform. He also apologized to the Academy and his ‘King Richard’ family.

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“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness. I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees, and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” Smith wrote.

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As soon as his apology surfaced online, social media didn’t waste any time in picking sides. A lot of people believed that Smith’s apology was sincere however, many believed that the actor did this only because the Academy has “opened an inquiry” into the incident. One of the fans wrote, “Forced damage control after the investigation was announced. Last night where was this when he was dancing and holding court at the parties.”

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Another social media user said, “This was only done cause’ his PR team saw the major backlash, potential loss of box office revenue, his career tarnished so they made him. He should have directly apologized to Chris. BTW Chris had no idea of her condition. It was an assault and the Academy is considering sanctions.” Meanwhile, another social media user said, “The apology was totally driven by the fact that he may be banned from future events or have his Oscar revoked. Well done, Will, for strengthening toxic masculinity via supreme weakness, as is always the way”. 

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On the other hand, there were several people who supported Smith for his apology, but said that what he did the other night was nothing short of an “assault”. One of the users said, “It’s a nice apology, but again, imagine if a non-celebrity had walked up on stage and smacked Chris Rock. An apology would not, and should not make this all go away. This was assault.”

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“Good. Two alpha males clash, and the aggressor apologizes. All is right in the world. Respect for Smith for his apology, and respect for Rock for not pressing charges. Let’s move on,” another social media user said. However, one of the Twitter users demanded an apology from the comedian for disrespecting Jada. He wrote, “This is class act by Will Smith. Chris Rock owes Jada Pinkett Smith an apology too. This situation hurt all around.”

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Well, it’s hard for people to take sides, but the Academy has picked a side and launched an official investigation into the incident. The organization also confirmed that a meeting of the full Academy board of governors will be taking place on Wednesday, March 30 to discuss the issue.

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