‘Emancipation’ Will Smith Admits He ‘Lost It’ During Chris Rock’s Oscar Slap, Was Full of ‘Rage’
“I’ve always wanted to be Superman, I’ve always wanted to rush in and save the damsel in distress,” Will Smith told Trevor Noah during a chat about Chris Rock’s infamous Oscar slap that shocked fans. Hollywood elite and the rest of the world.
“I had to humble myself and realize that I’m an imperfect human,” Smith said of the March incident.
Appearing on “The Daily Show” to promote his new movie “Emancipation,” Smith addressed the elephant in the room: “I was away, what were you doing?”
Speaking of the evening, Smith noted, “It was a horrible night, as you can imagine.” He added: “There’s a lot of nuances and complexities in there, you know, but at the end of the day I just – I lost it. I guess what I would say – you never know what someone is going through.”
WILL SMITH ‘UNDERSTANDS’ IF PEOPLE ARE NOT ‘READY’ TO SEE A NEW FILM AFTER OSCAR SNAP: ‘ABSOLUTELY RESPECT THAT’
One of those nuances or complexities was his childhood, he said.
“It was a lot of things,” Smith said of what led up to the slap. “He was the little boy who saw his dad beat up his mom…it all sprung up in that moment. It’s just – that’s not what I want to be.”
Smith, 54, shared “I was gone, man. It was a rage that had been bottled up for a very long time.”
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He also addressed the public directly, imploring people to be kinder to each other.
“In the audience right now, you know, you’re sitting next to strangers… someone’s mother died last week, someone’s kid is sick, someone just lost their job , someone just found out that his wife cheated on him. There’s all these things. They’re “You’re strangers and you just don’t know what’s going on with people…I was going through something that night- the.”
Although he emphasized that not knowing what someone else is dealing with doesn’t justify his behavior, it was his biggest lesson of the night. “We have to be nice to each other…it’s hard…I guess what stood out to me the most was that I took my heart and made it hard for the others,” he shared.
Smith particularly took issue with a joke Rock made on stage at the Oscars. This was at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia.
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Smith understands the public’s disappointment with his actions. After returning from the awards show, he was greeted by his nephew at home, who had stayed awake to catch a glimpse of his uncle winning an Oscar.
Smith got emotional talking about the moment his 9-year-old nephew asked “Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?”
Despite the emotions he went through and the repercussions he faced due to his decision to slap Rock, Smith says, “I had to forgive myself for being human…Trust me, nobody hates more than me the fact that I am human.”
“I still have an opportunity to, you know, go out into the world and contribute in a way that fills my heart and hopefully fills other people,” he told Noah.