In an interview with comedian and talk show host Trevor Noah, actor Will Smith addresses his infamous Oscar slap incident and what he calls a “horrific night.”
On the Monday (Nov. 28) episode of The Daily Show, the Oscar-winning actor explained that there were "many nuances and complexities" behind him hitting presenter Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards back in Mar. 2022. The slap came after the comedian joked about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head.
“It was a lot of things, it was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother. All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That’s not who I want to be …,” an emotional Smith said.
“At the end of the day, I just – I lost it, you know. I guess what I would say is that you just never know what somebody’s going through,” he shared. “I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all.”
Adding, “I understand how shocking that was for people … I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”
Despite winning an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard and apologizing for his actions, Smith was banned from all Oscars events for the next 10 years.
The talented actor returns to the big screen on Dec. 2, 2022, for his film Emancipation, where he plays an escaped enslaved person named Peter, also known as 'Whipped Peter,' from his whipped back that was one of the many catalysts of the abolition movement.
Watch Will Smith on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah below: