Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. 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.
I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.
I am a work in progress.
Smith’s apology came as the academy, a major Hollywood union and others criticized his actions, which stunned viewers around the world and overshadowed the Oscars.
“The academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the film organization said in a statement. “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.”
The academy’s statement came after a first board meeting. A five-page document on standards of conduct that accompanied it spells out behavior the organization deems unacceptable. It prohibits “physical contact that is uninvited and, in the situation, inappropriate and unwelcome or coercive sexual attention.” Also not allowed is “intimidation, stalking, abusive or threatening behavior, or bullying.”
Disciplinary action, according to the bylaws, could include “suspension of membership or expulsion from membership.”