It seems we’re not done yet with the fallout from Sunday night’s “slap heard around the world.”
The latest person to weigh in on the episode is none other than Chris Rock’s brother, Tony Rock, who in an admirable display of fraternal loyalty made it clear that he absolutely does not accept Will Smith’s apology for slapping his brother’s face at the memorable 94th Academy Awards on Sunday night.
JUST IN: Will Smith issued an apology to Chris Rock. In his statement, Smith said what he did was unacceptable & inexcusable. He also apologized to The Academy.
He adds, 'I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.' pic.twitter.com/YLj4ZZTwoo
— MJ Felipe (@mjfelipe) March 28, 2022
Some have even gone so far as to suggest that Smith’s apology was a “master class in emotional intelligence,” but it appears Tony Rock remains unconvinced.
When some on Twitter asked Tony Rock if he approved of Will Smith’s apology, his response was pretty unequivocal: “No.”
— Tony Rock (@TONYROCK) March 30, 2022
The whole sordid affair began during Chris Rock’s comedic monologue at the Oscars on Sunday night. At one point, the comedian made a joke at the expense of actor Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has shaved her head as a result of alopecia-induced hair loss.
“Jada, I love you—‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” he said, drawing uncomfortable laughs from the audience—including Will Smith. A quick check on his wife’s less-than-amused reaction to the joke, however, prompted the actor to come onstage and administer the infamous slap.
Afterward, Smith won a “Best Actor” award for his role in the film “King Richard,” a biopic about the famed tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and their father, Richard Williams. During his tearful acceptance speech, he apologized to the Academy and to his fellow nominees—but not, pointedly, to Chris Rock.
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” he said. “In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world…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 of the people,” he declared.
The responses to the incident were swift, with many in Hollywood and the media condemning Smith’s behavior. On Monday, Smith issued a more comprehensive apology, which he posted to Instagram.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” the apology reads. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about my Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”
Smith then offered a personal apology to Chris Rock. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” he wrote. “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 behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” he added.
“I am a work in progress,” Smith concluded.
The reaction to Smith’s apology has been generally positive, but that doesn’t signal the end of his problems. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences condemned his behavior on Monday, and launched a formal review to “explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
It seems the acclaimed actor has much more to worry about than Tony Rock rejecting his apology.
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