Will Smith Gives Finally Opens Up About the Oscars Slap

Will Smith may just win an Oscar (again!) for his upcoming film, Emancipation, by the look of early reviews for the film. There's just one little problem: he's banned from attending this year's awards show because he walked on stage last year and slapped comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. With the actor's new film due out in theaters on December 2, it's time for the official apology tour to commence. (Again.) After all, Will Smith can still be nominated and even win, if Academy audiences are willing to forgive and move on.

Appearing on The Daily Show for his first late-night television interview since the incident, Will Smith explained the "many nuances and complexities" that went into his decision that night. "At the end of the day, I just, I lost it, you know," Smith told The Daily Show host Trevor Noah. "I guess what I would say, you just never know what somebody’s going through."

"You’re asking, what did I learn? And it’s that we just got to be nice to each other man,” the Emancipation star said, tearing up. “You know, it’s like, it’s hard. And I guess the thing that was most painful for me is, I took my hard and made it hard for other people. You know, it’s like, I understood the idea when they say hurt people hurt people." The Daily Show host remarked that he believed the person that struck Chris Rock on the Dolby Theatre stage that night was not emblematic of the actor whom many fans have come to respect over the years, which prompted cheers and applause from the studio audience.


"I had to forgive myself for being human," Smith revealed. "Trust me, there’s nobody that hates the fact that I’m human more than me. And just finding that space for myself within myself to be human. It’s like, I want, I’ve always wanted to be Superman. I’ve always wanted to swoop in and save the damsel in distress, you know. And I had to humble down, you know, and realize that I’m a flawed human, and I still have an opportunity to go out in the world and contribute in a way that fills my heart, and hopefully helps other people."

In an interview with Fox 5's "Good Day D.C." last week, Smith acknowledged that not everyone may be ready to see him on the screen again so soon, but that he hoped the people who helped make Emancipation would not be penalized during the nomination process simply because of his actions. "I completely understand that, if someone is not ready. I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space," he said, adding, "The people on this team have done some of the best work of their entire careers, and my deepest hope is that my actions don’t penalize my team."

FromEsquire US

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Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg is an entertainment writer living in Brooklyn, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day; his work can be found at Spin, Insider, Vibe, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.
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