Will Smith has opened up about his controversial Oscars moment, attributing his actions to long-suppressed anger.
The actor slammed Chris Rock during this year’s Academy Awards after Rock made a controversial joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
Since then, the shocking moment has been one of the biggest talking points of the year while Smith’s position in Hollywood has been the subject of much public debate.
After apologizing for the incident on his own YouTube channel, as well as through other interactions with the press, he said King Richard star appeared The daily news Trevor Noah on Monday (November 28) to provide more insight into the moment.
The interview began with an acknowledgment of Smith’s absence from the public, with the actor quipping to the audience, “What have you guys been up to?”
The pair then began discussing his and Rock’s altercation. “That was a horrible night, as you can imagine,” Smith began loudly diversity.
“There are many nuances and complexities. But at the end of the day I just – I lost it, you know?
“I went through something that night, you know? Not that that even justifies my behavior… It was a lot of things. It was the little boy who watched his father beat up his mother, you know? It all just bubbled up at that moment. That’s not who I want to be.”
Noah then offered his take on the situation. In addition to mentioning his friendship with Rock and his belief that the conflict was poorly managed, Noah poked fun at those who claimed Smith should have received a prison sentence for the act.
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“A lot of black people said, ‘He should go to jail.’ Like, you need to relax,” Noah said, to which Smith responded with a laugh.
The actor then dealt with the aftermath of the slap and had to face his loved ones after losing control in such a public forum.
“I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time,” Smith explained.
“My nephew is nine. He’s the cutest little boy. We came home. He stayed up late to see his Uncle Will and we’re sitting in my kitchen and he’s on my lap and he’s holding the Oscar and he’s just like, ‘Why did you hit that man Uncle Will?’ Damned. Why are you trying Oprah?”
Smith is currently promoting the Antoine Fuqua film, emancipationin which he plays an enslaved man escaping his captors in 19th-century Louisiana.
In another recent interview, he stated that he “totally understands” if viewers aren’t ready to see him after his exploits in the film.