Smith offered an apology to the Academy, but not to Rock, and also appeared to make light of the incident with a joke about ‘art imitating life’ and ‘looking like the crazy father’.
The speech read: “Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.’ I want to be a vessel for love. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena … and the entire Williams family for entrusting me with your story.
“That’s what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern. I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me; it’s about being able to shine a light on all the people … and the entire cast and crew of King Richard and Venus and Serena and the entire Williams family. Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams! But, love will make you do crazy things.”
During the ceremony – Smith asked to leave but refuses
It comes after many questioned why Smith was allowed to remain seated in the front row at the Academy Awards after the incident. On Wednesday, the Academy suggested that it attempted to remove the actor from the audience.
“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated,” the Academy said. “While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”
Monday morning – Smith apologises in lengthy social media post
Smith wrote: "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.
"I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.
"I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.
"I am a work in progress."
Monday – Smith’s mum says she’s ‘surprised’ by slap
Smith’s mum has said she was “surprised” upon seeing her son slap Rock in a statement released the next day.
Smith’s mother, Caroline Bright, told Philadelphia news station Action News: “He is a very even, people person,” adding that she was “surprised” by his actions.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime,” she said. “I’ve never seen him do that.”
She added that she was “proud” of Smith following his Best Actor win on the night.
Pinkett Smith has shared her first social media post since the incident on Instagram.
The post didn’t give much away and simply stated the following words against a pale pink background: “This is a season for healing and I’m here for it”.
Monday – Richard Williams criticises the slap
Richard Williams hit out at SmithJim McIsaac/Getty Images
The real-life tennis coach portrayed in King Richard by Will Smith, Richard Williams, distanced himself from the film star's on-stage antics with a statement on Monday evening.
In a statement to NBC News via his son and spokesperson Chavoita LeSane, Williams said: “We don’t know all the details of what happened. But we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defence.”
Tuesday - False claims spreading online are called out
There’s been a whole lot of disinformation spread in the aftermath of the incident, including a fabricated letter of apology attributed to Rock.
The biggest false claim said that Rock issued a public apology for his joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, saying he “crossed a line that I shouldn’t have and paid the enormous price of my reputation as a renown comedian.”
Wednesday - ‘Outraged’ Academy promises ‘appropriate action’
The Academy promised “appropriate action” against Will Smith in a letter obtained by Variety, after the fallout from Sunday’s ceremony.
Academy leadership has said they were “upset and outraged” that Smith’s actions overshadowed what was meant to be a “celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year.”
Signed by president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, the letter read: “To be clear, we condemn Mr Smith’s actions that transpired Sunday night.”
“As outlined in our bylaws, the Academy’s Board of Governors will now make a determination on appropriate action for Mr Smith,” they wrote in the letter sent to Academy members, adding, “This must follow an official process that will take a few weeks.”
Wednesday evening – Chris Rock breaks silence
Not surprised @chrisrock is getting a standing ovation at his first outing after Oscar assault and battery. Calm is indeed a super power. #ActRight pic.twitter.com/2ZJEWakeb4
— SEGA L'\u00e9veilleur\u00ae (@SEGA L'\u00e9veilleur\u00ae)
After the crowd greeted him with a standing ovation, Rock, continued: “Let me be all misty and s***”, with tears in his eyes.
“I don’t have a bunch of s*** to say about that, so if you came here for that...” Rock added, saying: “I had written a whole show before this weekend.
“I’m still processing what happened, so at some point I’ll talk about that s***,” the comedian also said on Wednesday, adding, “It’ll be serious. It’ll be funny, but right now I’m going to tell some jokes.”
Friday - Will Smith resigns from the Oscars Academy
The Academy confirmed it had received the actor's resignation and would push forward with disciplinary proceedings against him, the details of which are to be discussed at a board meeting on April 18. Smith said he would accept any consequences that emerged from his scheduled disciplinary hearing.
On Friday, Smith apologised again to his fellow nominees and winners for having “deprived” them of the opportunity to celebrate their achievements on the night.
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