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Will Smith Addresses Oscars Slap in New Interview

Will Smith has finally opened up about March’s Oscars slap incident. On Nov. 28, Smith appeared on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” and talked about the fallout from the incident, his family’s reaction to what happened, and how he’s processing it now months later. Watch the video above.

First, Smith addressed the fact that he’s been keeping out the spotlight for the most part since the Oscars in March. “I have been away,” he said. “What have y’all been doing?” Noah noted that the 2022 Oscars marked one of both the best and worst days of Smith’s life.

The actor, agreeing, reflected on the night and said, “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?” He added that no one knows what anyone else is going through. He continued, “I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all.” He added that he learned we all need to be nice to each other and that it’s true that “hurt people hurt people.”

He added later about the moment, “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.” Noah reflected on his own understanding of Smith as a friend and added that he doesn’t think the moment is who Smith is. He added that he’s friends with both Smith and Chris Rock. “Everybody can make a mistake,” the host said. Smith began to cry. Noah said that some people “overreacted,” which “made some people underreact.”

Smith said, “I understand how shocking that was for people on that stage.” He continued, “I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.” He also told a story from that night. “My nephew Dom is 9,” he said. “He is the sweetest little boy. We came home. He had stayed up late to see his uncle Will, and we are sitting in my kitchen and he’s on my lap and he’s holding the Oscar and he’s just like, ‘Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?’ Damn it. Why are you trying to Oprah me?” Smith laughed as he wiped away tears. “It was a mess,” he said.

Smith is currently promoting his new film “Emancipation,” in which he plays the slave Whipped Peter. Smith told Noah that the movie is not “a slave movie” but a “freedom movie.” He told Noah that he doesn’t want the work of director Antoine Fuqua and the cast and crew of “Emancipation” to be tainted by his own actions. The film will be released in theaters this weekend before streaming on Apple TV+ on Dec. 9. The actor was banned from appearing at the Oscars for 10 years by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but Smith is still eligible to be nominated for and win Oscars.

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