Speaking out about slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards, Will Smith.
Smith made his first appearance since hitting Rock on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Monday. He added, “There’s many nuances and complexity to it, you know, but at the end of the day, I just — I lost it.
In a more somber tone, he continued, “I guess what I would say is, you just never know what somebody’s going through.” He was speaking about the day he smacked Rock for making fun of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
The 54-year-old Smith continued, “You just don’t know what’s going on with folks.” “And that night, I was going through something.” Not that my behavior is justified in any way by it.
Shortly before winning Best Actor at the March 27 ceremony, Smith stepped onstage and smacked Rock on live television for making a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. (51-year-old Jada has alopecia.)
The joke was “too much for me to handle,” the actor said in a statement a few days later, and he “reacted emotionally.”
His young nephew Dom, 9, who “stayed up late to see his Uncle Will” at the 94th Academy Awards, was among those affected, he said in a conversation with Noah on Monday.
He claimed that when Dom arrived home, he asked him, “Uncle Will, why did you attack that man?”
The father of three summarized what he took away from the experience as, “We just had to be nice to each other, man.” “It’s challenging. And I suppose the thing that hurts me the most is that I took my heart and made it difficult for other people.”
Regarding his reasons for acting as he did and his prior experiences with conflict aversion, he remarked, “It was a lot of things.” “It was the young child who had been witnessing his mother scold his father. All of that came to the surface then. That’s simply not who I want to be, you know? I had left. That wrath has been suppressed for a very long time.”
In response to Noah calling the awards event one of the “greatest and worst” nights of the actor’s life, Smith said, “I have no independent recollection.” Yes, as you might guess, that was a horrible night, stated Smith.
Smith left the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the days after the presentation, and he was ultimately barred from attending Academy functions for ten years. Since then, he has expressed regret for his conduct numerous times, even to Rock.
In addition, the Oscar-nominated actor from Men in Black will soon make his first appearance on a major motion picture since the Oscars in the historical drama Emancipation, for which he is still eligible for another Academy Award nomination.
However, if he were to win, Entertainment Weekly Awards Correspondent Dave Karger tells a source that “he wouldn’t be able to accept the prize in person.”
Smith plays Peter in the film, a slave who must run from slave hunters through Louisiana while relying on “his wits, unshakeable faith, and deep love for his family” to survive.
A summary for the film states that it was inspired by “the 1863 photographs of ‘Whipped Peter,’ obtained during a Union Army medical examination, that first appeared in Harper’s Weekly.”
The man’s injured back is shown in one of the photographs from the collection titled “The Scourged Back,” which, according to the summary, “ultimately contributed to growing popular hostility to slavery.”
Smith said to Noah on Monday, “American slavery was one of the most terrible aspects of human history. “It was something that I couldn’t understand. Understanding the extent of human wickedness is difficult.
“Do we really need another slave movie, my daughter inquired to me? When I was considering it, I was like, “Baby, I swear to you, I won’t produce a movie about slaves; this is a movie about liberation, you know.””
Emancipation had its theatrical debut on December 2 and launches globally on Apple TV+ on December 9.