More than two months after Will Smith stormed the stage at the 2022 Oscars and slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith is (very briefly) addressing the incident. Ahead of Wednesday’s episode of Red Table Talk about alopecia, Pinkett Smith said she hopes both her husband and Rock have a chance to “reconcile” down the line.
“This is a really important Red Table Talk on alopecia. Considering what I’ve been through with my own health and what happened at the Oscars, thousands have reached out to me with their stories. I’m using this moment to give our alopecia family an opportunity to talk about what it’s like to have this condition and to inform people about what alopecia actually is,” Pinkett Smith said at the top of the episode. (The unscripted moment at the awards ceremony arrived after Rock joked about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith, however, has been open about suffering from alopecia, which causes hair loss.)
“Now about Oscar night, my deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile,” she said. “The state of the world today, we need them both. And we all actually need one another more than ever. Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that’s keep figuring out this thing called life together. Thank you for listening.”
While this is the first time Pinkett Smith has spoken out about the slap, Smith previously publicly apologized to Rock and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. At the time, he posted a lengthy statement addressing his actions at the ceremony, noting that he would accept “all consequences for my conduct.”
“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” he wrote. “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work.”
“I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate,” he wrote. “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
Smith was later sanctioned with a 10-year ban from the Oscars, as well as all Academy-related events.
“The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage,” the Academy’s Board of Governors announced in a statement in April via Variety.
“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented.”
In response to the Academy’s punishment, Smith said in a statement, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”