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Willow Smith Expresses Sentiments on Father’s Infamous Academy Awards Incident

Photo: Cheatsheet

Willow Smith shared her sentiment over the infamous incident at the 2022 Oscars involving her father Will. 

The 21-year-old singer reflected on the media fuss that followed after her father, who bagged the Best Actor award for his role as patriarch Richard Williams in Serena and Venus Williams sports film King Richard, slapped Chris Rock on stage following the presenter’s joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia. 

The intense media criticism did not “rock me as much as my own internal demons,” Willow told Billboard. 

She added, “I see my whole family as being human, and I love and accept them for all their humanness. Because of the position that we’re in, our humanness sometimes isn’t accepted, and we’re expected to act in a way that isn’t conducive to a healthy human life and isn’t conducive to being honest.” 

Will Asks Apology

Last month, after a short break on social media, Will posted a heartfelt video addressing the incident that took place at the awards ceremony on March 27.

The 5-minute YouTube video begins with a title card stating that he’s done a lot of self-reflection and personal work these past four months.

“I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy,” Smith stated, replying to a query on why he didn’t apologize to Rock in his acceptance speech after the slap. 

“I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out,” Smith said. “So, I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you, my behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.” 

He repeated that there is “no part” of him that “thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment” or an “optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults” following Rock’s joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. 

The actor also repulsed speculation that Pinkett Smith’s reaction was what pushed him to slap Rock. 

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“I made a choice on my own from my own experiences and my history with Chris,” Smith stated, apologizing to his family and Questlove, who snagged the Best Documentary Feature award presented by Rock during the award show. 

“I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heart I brought on all of us,” he stated. 

“To all my fellow nominees, you know, this is a community. I won because you voted for me, and it really breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment. I can still see Questlove’s eyes. It happened on Questlove’s award, and it’s like, ‘I’m sorry’ really isn’t sufficient.” 

After the slap, the Academy banned the Oscar-winner from attending its official events – counting the awards show – for the following ten years. Smith then stepped down as a member of the group. 

Jada Pinkett Smith Says Will and Chris Should Reconcile

Pinkett Smith urged her husband and Rock to make up in June in an episode of Red Table Talk about alopecia. 

“My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile,” she stated. 

“The state of the world today? We need them both, and we all actually need one another more than ever,” Pinkett Smith stated. “Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that keeps figuring out this thing called life together.” 

Although Rock has not publicly replied to Smith’s apology, he’s laughed about it on numerous stand-up sets. 

He allegedly told the audience in May, “I’m okay if anybody was wondering. Got most of my hearing back. Don’t expect me to talk about the bulls—. I’ll talk about it at some point… on Netflix.”

Read also: Will Smith Sees his Career ‘Going Away’ Before the Slapping Incident at Oscars