Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on the Oscar stage earlier this year shocked audiences around the globe. And now, during the promotion of his next film Emancipation on Trevor Noah’s show, Will has opened up about the incident. As Trevor asked Will about what happened that night, the King Richard actor said, “That was a horrific night as you can imagine. There are many nuances and complexities to it but at the end of the day, I lost it.”
Will then looks at the studio audience and explains how everyone has their own journey and the people in the studio might be going through their personal difficulties, even as they share the same space with strangers. “I guess what I would say, you just never know what somebody is going through. In the audience right now, you are sitting next to strangers and somebody’s mother died last week, somebody’s child is sick, somebody just lost their job, somebody just found out their spouse cheated,” he said. “You just don’t know what’s going on with people. I was going through something that night. Not that that justifies my behaviour at all,” the actor added.
When Trevor Noah asked Will Smith what he had learnt from this experience, he said that people need to be nicer to each other. “We just got to be nice to each other. It’s hard and I guess the thing that was most painful for me is I took my hard and made it hard for other people,” he said. The Men in Black actor said that he understood “how shocking it was for people” and how it was “a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”
Will then recalled how his nine-year-old nephew questioned him about slapping Chris Rock and got teary-eyed as he narrated the story. He said, “My nephew is nine. He is the sweetest little boy. We came home. He had stayed up late to see his uncle Will and we are sitting in my kitchen and he is on my lap and he is holding the Oscar and he is just like, ‘Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?'”
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s medical condition. Later that night, Will was awarded his first Best Actor Oscar for King Richard and received a standing ovation for the same.