Will Smith opened up about the infamous Oscars slap, admitting he “lost it” and can understand if audiences are not ready to receive his return to the big screen.
The superstar actor is on a press run for his new movie, Oscar-hopeful Emancipation, ahead of the Dec. 9 release. The film is his first following his appearance at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, where he slapped Chris Rock.
During an interview with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show on Monday night (Nov. 28), Will Smith addressed the incident, explaining what drove him to slap the comedian.
Will Smith: “I Lost It”
“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine,” Will Smith admitted, despite winning his first Academy Award. “There’s many nuances and complexities to it but, at the end of the day, I lost it, you know. I guess what I would say, you just never know what somebody is going through.”
“I was going through something that night,” he said before adding, “Not that that justifies my behavior at all.”
Will Smith then explained what he learned from the experience: “We just gotta be nice to each other, man. It’s hard. I guess the thing that was most painful for me, is I took my heart and made it hard for other people. I understood the idea when they say hurt people hurt people,” he said before dabbing his eyes with a tissue moments later.
Noah then defended Smith saying, “everybody can make a mistake,” and calling out the “relentlessly s#####” press he and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, have received.
Will Smith became emotional after his host’s kind words saying, “now I’m crying for real,” again reaching for his tissue.
“I understand how shocking it was to people,” Smith said, admitting, “I was gone, dude. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.” Check out the clip below and the interview at the end of the page.
Will Smith Addresses The Oscars Slap
During an earlier interview with Fox 5’s Good Day DC journalist Kevin McCarthy, the actor addressed concerns fans may not be here for his comeback.
“I completely understand — if someone is not ready, I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready,” Smith said. “My deepest concern is my team – Antoine [Fuqua] has done what I think is the greatest work of his entire career. The people on this team have done some of the best work of their entire careers, and my deepest hope is that my actions don’t penalize my team. At this point, that’s what I’m working for.”