Actor Will Smith on Monday apologised to Chris Rock for slapping the comedian during the Oscars ceremony.

“I was out of line and I was wrong,” Smith said in an Instagram post. “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.”

At Sunday’s Academy Award ceremony, Smith smacked Rock for joking that his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was apt for the next GI Jane movie a seeming a reference to her tonsured head. She shaved her head in 2021 following a diagnosis of alopecia, a condition that leads to hair loss.

In his statement on Instagram, Smith said that violence in all forms was “poisonous and destructive”.

“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” he said. “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”

The 53-year-old actor also apologised to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, the attendees, the audience and the family of tennis players Serena Williams and Venus Williams.

“I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” he added. “I am a work in progress.”

Smith won the the Best Actor award for the biopic King Richard soon after the incident. The biopic is based on Richard Williams, the father of Serena Williams and Venus Williams.

In his acceptance speech, the actor tearfully apologised to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, but not to Chris Rock. “Love will make you do crazy things,” he had said.

Academy launches formal review

Smith’s apology came after the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences condemned Smith’s onstage assault and said it has launched an inquiry, the BBC reported.

“We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law,” it said.

The Academy’s Board of Governors are reportedly set to meet on Wednesday to discuss whether or not to take any action against Smith.

Rock had kept his calm after Smith slapped him, smiling and saying: “That was the greatest night in the history of television.”

The comedian has not pressed charges against Smith. He had also reportedly joked about the assault backstage at the Oscars.

“That’s the only time you get hit by Muhammad Ali and it doesn’t leave a scratch,” he had said, referring to Smith’s role in the boxer’s biopic, Ali.

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