Will Smith responds to Chris Rock’s mom’s interview with WIS, issues apology

Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock and his mother Friday on his Instagram.
Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock and his mother Friday on his Instagram.(Will Smith)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 11:09 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Will Smith issued a public apology directly to Chris Rock.

The apology was posted Friday on the actor’s Instagram account. In the video, Smith answered questions about slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Academy Awards this year.

During the awards ceremony, Smith slapped Rock’s face after a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Smith said he’d reached out to Rock and said that the comedian wasn’t ready to talk yet, “I apologize to you.”

“My behavior was unacceptable,” he said.

Smith explained that he’d also seen an interview with Chris Rock’s mother. WIS’ Billie Jean Shaw spoke exclusively with Rose Rock in April about the impact the slap had on her family. She’d said, “...when he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us...”

Smith said Friday, “I want to apologize to Chris’ mother.” He explained he didn’t realize how many people got hurt in the moment.

He also explained that he’d spent the last several months thinking about the slap,

“There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment.”

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