Richard Williams has reacted to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards.
During the Oscars telecast on Sunday night, presenter Chris Rock made a joke referring to actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness, to which husband Smith walked on stage and physically confronted him.
Will Smith later won the Best Actor prize for his portrayal of tennis coach Williams in the biopic “King Richard.”
On Monday, Williams’s son Chavoita LeSane issued a statement on behalf of his father.
“We don’t know all the details of what happened,” he said. “But we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defense.”
LeSane, who has served as his dad’s spokesperson since he suffered a stroke in 2016, added that Williams was as stunned as everyone else by the altercation.
Richard Williams’s daughters, tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, have not yet commented on the incident.
On Monday night, Smith posted an apology on his Instagram page in which he admitted he “deeply regret(s)” his “unacceptable and inexcusable” reaction to the joke.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” Will Smith wrote.
“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 reacted emotionally.
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“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and was wrong. lam embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” Will Smith continued
Representatives for the Academy are to conduct a formal review of the incident.