Jada Pinkett Smith, the woman at the center of Sunday’s Will Smith/Chris Rock Oscars altercation, called for “healing” in her first public statement since the incident.
On Instagram Tuesday, Pinkett Smith posted a pink square with the words, “This is a season for healing and I’m here for it.” The image did not have a caption.
While presenting Best Documentary Feature during ABC’s broadcast of the 94th Academy Awards Sunday, comedian Chris Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s baldness; she has spoken publicly about how she lives with a hair-loss condition called alopecia. “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2 — can’t wait to see it,” Rock said, referencing the 1997 film in which Demi Moore’s character shaves her head as she competes with her fellow Naval officers in a grueling series of physical tests.
Will Smith appeared to laugh at the joke at first, but Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes and looked irked. Soon after, Smith walked up to the stage and took a swing at Rock, who said, “Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me.” Then Smith, who had returned to his seat, yelled from the audience, “Keep my wife’s name out your f–king mouth” and repeated it after Rock responded that the jab had just been a joke.
Smith went on to take home the Best Actor award, addressing the incident (albeit indirectly) in his acceptance speech. “Denzel [Washington] said to me, ‘At your highest moment, be careful — that’s when the devil comes for you,” he said through tears, before adding, “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to my fellow nominees.”
On Monday, he apologized to Rock via an Instagram post that said, in part, “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. 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. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. 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.”
Also on Monday, The Academy — which puts on the Oscars — said it “condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. 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.”