Months on from the slap seen around the world, people still haven’t forgotten the off-putting sight of Will Smith stalking across the stage to hit the comedian. Audiences waited for the punchline, but none came. Although the primary function of Smith’s appearance was to promote his upcoming film “Emancipation,” it was impossible to avoid the elephant in the room. In a candid conversation with host Trevor Noah, Smith reflected on what happened at the 94th Academy Awards, and he didn’t mince words.
“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine. There’s many nuances and complexities to it. But at the end of the day, I just — I lost it, you know?” Smith explained (via Variety). “I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all… It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know? All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That is not who I want to be.”
This isn’t the first time Smith has spoken out on the subject. He’s offered several eyebrow-raising explanations for that Oscars slap. Smith has expressed regret regarding his actions on social media, though this is the first time he’s opened up after getting time and space to further reflect on the matter. Smith’s level-headed tone implies that he understands the gravity of the situation. Hindsight is 20/20, after all.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.