In support of Emancipation, Will Smith is making the rounds of the press in support of its December 9th release on Apple TV+. Smith discussed the incident in an appearance on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. "That was a horrific night, as you can imagine," Smith said (via Variety).
"There's many nuances and complexities to it. But at the end of the day, I just — I lost it, you know? I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all… It was a lot of things.
It was the little boy that watched his father beat up. his mother, you know? All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That is not who I want to be." "I was gone," he said. "That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.
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?' Damn it.
Why are you trying to Oprah me?"
Will Smith apologized to the comedian and his family.
"I want to apologize to Chris's mother. I saw an interview that Chris's mother did, and that was one of the things about that moment," Smith said in July.
"I didn't realize, and I wasn't thinking [about] how many people got hurt in that moment. I want to apologize to Chris's mother, I want to apologize to Chris's family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man, and this is probably irreparable." "I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment," Smith's apology said.
"And I'm not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you [that] there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There's no part of me that thinks that's the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults."