Richard Williams, Will Smith’s character in King Richard, has spoken out against the actor hitting Chris Rock at the Academy Awards. Here’s a video of the current situation:
The actor won his first Academy Award for his role as Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard.
Smith’s nomination was a watershed moment for him, as he hadn’t been nominated since 2007 – but his altercation with Rock earlier in the night overshadowed it.
The stand-up comedian ascended the stage to present the Best Documentary Feature award. Starting with Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz, Denzel Washington, and eventually Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, he took a few tiny jabs at the audience.
Because of her shaved head, which she had due to alopecia, Rock claimed that he couldn’t wait for G.I. Jane 2. Smith smacked him in the face and told him to ‘keep [his] wife’s name out of [his] f***ing lips.’
Through his son Chavoita LeSane, Williams told NBC News: “We don’t have all the information regarding what happened. We do not, however, condone anyone harming another person unless it is in self-defense.”
In response to Smith’s mention of him in his Oscar acceptance speech, Williams stayed silent. The Williams sisters have remained deafeningly silent in the aftermath of the incident.
The actor claims that “Richard Williams was a fierce protector of those he cared about. What God is calling me to do and be in this world at this time in my life, in this moment, overwhelms me.”
Later, he went on to say: “Art imitates life. They assumed I was the insane parent, and they were correct. I have the appearance of a crazy father, just like Richard Williams. On the other hand, love will make you insane.”
A video of Smith’s speech is available below:
Rather than apologising to Rock personally, he apologized to the Academy and his “fellow nominees.” Smith, however, has offered a full apology on Instagram in the aftermath of the social media reaction and the Academy’s explicit disapproval.
“Violence is poisonous and dangerous in all of its incarnations,” he said. Last night’s Academy Awards were both dreadful and unforgivable in terms of my behavior.
“I’m used to jokes about my health, but one about Jada’s illness was too much for me to take, and I reacted emotionally.”
“Chris, I’d like to express my sincere regret to you. I was out of line and incorrect at the same time. I’m humiliated, and my behavior does not reflect the man I want to be. In a world of love and peace, violence has no place.”