Willow Smith on Will Smith’s Oscars slap fallout: “It didn’t rock me as much as my own internal demons”

The star speaks out on the altercation at the Academy Awards

Willow Smith has addressed her father Will Smith‘s altercation at the Oscars earlier this year.

Will infamously slapped presenter Chris Rock on stage during the ceremony in March after the latter made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Speaking about the events, Willow said the intense media coverage of the slap didn’t “rock me as much as my own internal demons.”

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“I see my whole family as being human, and I love and accept them for all their humanness,” she told Billboard. “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 Smith
Will Smith (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Late last month, Will posted a video about the altercation called ‘It’s Been A Minute…’, saying in the opening text: “Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work… You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.”

The actor then said in the video: “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out.

“I will say to you, Chris. I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.

Will Smith
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars 2022. CREDIT: Getty

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“I want to apologise to Chris’ mother. I saw an interview that Chris’ mother did, and that was one of the things about that moment… I just didn’t realise, I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt in that moment.

“So I want to apologise to Chris’ mother. I want to apologise to Chris’ family, specifically [his brother] Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. And this is probably irreparable.”

The actor also denied that his wife asked him to “do something” after the joke, clarifying: “It’s like I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences, from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it.”

Will Smith and family at the 2022 Oscars
Will Smith and family at the 2022 Oscars. CREDIT: Getty / Daniele Venturelli

Will concluded: “It hurts me emotionally and psychologically to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me. The work I’m trying to do is I am deeply remorseful and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I am human and I made a mistake.

“I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of shit. So I would say to those people, I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking, but I promise you I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world. If you hang on, I promise we’ll be able to be friends again.”

The actor subsequently resigned from the Academy after the incident and has been banned from the Oscars for 10 years. Rock has also joked about the incident in a stand-up set.

Meanwhile, Willow announced last week that she will be releasing a new album called ‘COPINGMECHANISM’ next month.

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