Will Smith Says He Still Loses Sleep Over Infamous Oscars Slap

Will Smith says that he loses sleep over the infamous Oscars slap and how it could potentially jeopardise his upcoming film, Emancipation. 
Credit: Fox 5 & Alamy

Will Smith says that he loses sleep over the infamous Oscars slap and how it could potentially jeopardise his upcoming film, Emancipation

The Pursuit of Happyness star, 54, made global headlines earlier this year when he slapped comedian Chris Rock at the famous ceremony.

It all started when Rock made a joke aimed towards Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

That very same evening, the actor won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard.

However, the achievement was overshadowed after he found himself banned from the Oscars gala and other Academy events for 10 years.

Smith has now opened up about how the incident has affected him and his work in the long run.

Watch the infamous moment in the clip below…

In a chat with Entertainment Weekly, the I Am Legend star said: “The only discomfort my heart has around that is that so many people have done spectacular work on this film.

“My hope is that my team isn’t penalised at all for my actions. I think (director) Antoine (Fuqua) and (cinematographer) Robert (Richardson) and Ben (Foster) and Charmaine (Bingwa) – everyone has done such spectacular work.”

He added: “I definitely lose a couple winks of sleep every night thinking that I could have potentially penalised my team, but I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that everyone gets seen in the light that they deserve.”

Since the incident, Smith has repeatedly apologised to Rock and his fans.

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The day after the Oscars, Smith took to Instagram and admitted that he was ‘out of line’ and ’embarrassed’ by his actions.

He penned: “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.

“My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.

“Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

Will Smith in Emancipation.
Will Smith says that he loses sleep over the infamous Oscars slap and how it could potentially jeopardise his upcoming film, Emancipation. Credit: Apple Studios

“I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong.

“I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be.

“There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Smith went on to apologise to the Academy, attendees and everyone who watched the show.

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Elsewhere in his interview with EW, Smith discussed Emancipation and its script.

The film, which is based on a true story, follows Peter, a slave, who flees a Louisana plantation after being whipped.

Praising the screenplay, Smith said: “I had seen the image of Whipped Peter as a child, but as his story started to come into focus, I was moved in all of the most beautiful ways.

“When you look at the brutality that he suffered, and then realising that through that he was able to sustain faith, gratitude, and love in the face of those kinds of atrocities – I knew that I wanted to learn from Peter.”

Emancipation will premiere on Apple TV+ on December 9. 

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.