Four months after he infamously slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars for joking about his wife and was promptly banned from attending the event for 10 years, Will Smith is ready for people to forgive him.
In a six-minute YouTube video posted Friday, Smith apologized on camera for the first time to Rock, Rock’s family, his own family, his fellow Oscar nominees, and to his fans who he said he had disappointed.
“I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out,” Smith said. “So I will say to you Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
He answered several questions in the video, such as why he didn’t apologize in his acceptance speech later that night and whether his wife Jada told him to do anything after she rolled her eyes at Rock’s alopecia joke.
“I made a choice on my own from my own experiences from my history with Chris,” he said. “Jada had nothing to do with it, sorry babe.”
Smith said he had been reflecting on the incident for three months, and had been trying not to “think of myself as a piece of shit” in the process.
“Disappointing people is my central trauma,” he said. “I hate when I let people down so it hurts, it hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me. The work I’m trying to do is, I am deeply remorseful, and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself.”