'Didn't rock me as much as my personal demons': Willow Smith opens up on Will's infamous Oscar slap

"I see my whole family as being human and I love and accept them for all their humanness," said Willow Smith.

'Didn't rock me as much as my personal demons': Willow Smith opens up on Will's infamous Oscar slap
(L-R) Trey Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Will Smith attend the premiere of Disney's "Aladdin" on May 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Willow Smith has spoken out regarding her father Will Smith's infamous Academy Awards moment where he controversially slapped comedian Chris Rock. In a recent interview with Billboard, the 21-year-old Red Table Talk co-host and Emmy nominee said that the negative media coverage that followed the event -- mostly focused on Will Smith -- "didn't rock me as much as my own internal demons".

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"I see my whole family as being human and I love and accept them for all their humanness. Because of the position that we're in, our humanness sometimes isn't accepted, and we're expected to act in a way that isn't conducive to a healthy human life and isn't conducive to being honest," she added.

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Prior to her dad's resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Willow tweeted a mysterious message. Willow wrote: "Life is a series of reactions. The meaning of life is found in challenge."

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After Rock, 57, made fun of Jada Pinkett Smith's thinning hair at the Oscars ceremony in March, the crisis came to a head (Pinkett Smith, 50, has been open about living with alopecia). "I adore you, Jada. I can't wait to see you in G.I. Jane 2," Rock joked.

The audience and live viewers around the world were in shock as Will got up on stage and smacked Rock in the face. Rock exclaimed, "Oh wow!" -- as Will returned to his seat. "Will Smith just beat the crap out of me," Rock said.

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"Keep my wife's name out your fucking mouth!" Will shouted at Rock as he took his seat. Later on in the evening, the 'King Richard' star went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams' father Richard.

Since then Smith has expressed regret and apologized to Rock along with resignign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which gave him a 10-year ban from the ceremony. He still, however, can be nominated and win the coveted award.

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Will most recently apologized to Rock, posting a video on all of his social media platforms in which he made a peace offering: "Chris responded to my message that he wasn't yet ready to talk, but that he would get in touch with me when he was. I will therefore apologize to you, Chris. I apologize for my behavior and am available to speak with you whenever you're ready."

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

 

Will told People magazine, after the Academy opened disciplinary proceedings against him, "I have directly responded to the Academy's disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy.

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"I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film," Smith added.

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