“It’s been a minute… Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work,” reads a title sequence opening the clip. “You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.
To start, Smith addressed why he didn’t apologize to Rock during his own Oscars acceptance speech for Best Actor. “I was fogged out. It was all fuzzy,” he explained. Smith went on to say that he has since reached out to Rock, but “he’s not ready to talk.”
“I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you,” Smith said, looking into the camera. “My behavior was unacceptable. I am here for whenever you’re ready to talk.” He also apologized to Rock’s mother, his brother Tony Rock (who he described as a longtime friend of his), and other members of Rock’s family.
“I spent the last three months, replaying, understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened in that moment. I’m not going to try to unpack it right now, but I can say to you right now that there’s no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at that moment,” Smith continued.
Smith also disputed the idea that his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, encouraged his decision to confront Rock on stage after the comedian made a joke about Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head (she suffers from alopecia). “I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris, Jada had nothing to do with it,” he stated.
Addressing his fellow Oscar nominees, Oscar said, “It really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnish that moment.” He specifically referenced Questlove, who was accepting his Oscar at the time of the incident. “I’m sorry really isn’t sufficient.”
Smith concluded his video by addressing longtime fans who were disappointed by his actions.
“Disappointing people is my central trauma,” Smith said. “I hate when I let people down. So, it hurts. It hurts me psychologically and emotionally that I did not live up to people’s image and impression of me. The work I’m trying to do, is I am deeply remorseful. And I am trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I am trying not to think of myself as a piece of shit.”
“I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world,” Smith concluded. “If you hang on, I promise we will be able to be friends again.”
Watch the full video below.
As a result of Smith’s actions, the Academy Board of Governors banned him from attending the Oscars for a period of 10 years. The actor has also seen several of his upcoming film projects put on hold.
For his part, after keeping mum for several months Chris Rock finally addressed the incident during a standup set in New Jersey last weekend. “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock said. “I’m not a victim. Yeah, that shit hurt, motherfucker. But I shook that shit off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”