American actor Will Smith reflected on how he “lost it” at the 94th Academy Awards Ceremony, where he blatantly went on stage and slapped Chris Rock over a bad hair joke. The I Am Legend movie star was driven to tears as he opened up to Trevor Noah about the life-changing incident. The Oscars Slap, one of the several names the incident had been dubbed, besmirched Smith’s amicable reputation, affected his career, and drove a wedge into his friendship with Rock, who has not publicly exchanged words with him since the night of the incident.
Smith began by saying that it was “a horrific night” and he “lost it” due to a number of variables that contributed to his pent-up anger. “I guess what I would say, you just never know what somebody is going through,” he explained. “I was going through something that night…not that that justifies my behaviour.”
Smith added that he acted that way because of his childhood trauma of seeing his father abuse his mother. “It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother… All of that just bubbled up in that moment,” he added. He continued by saying that he did not want to be the person he was on the night of the Oscars.
On March 27, at the Oscars, comedian Chris Rock joked that Jada Pinkett Smith would star in G.I. Jane 2 because of her bald head. Jada, who suffers from alopecia, did not find it amusing, and Smith got up from his seat and headed towards the stage. After giving Rock a hard slap, Smith returned to his seat and hurled obscenities at Rock.
Watch the interview with Will Smith below: