In a YouTube video, Smith addressed the comedian, whom Smith says has declined to speak with him directly. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologise to you,” the actor said.
He also apologised to Rock’s mother and father: “My behaviour was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk. I want to apologise to Chris’s mother. I saw an interview that Chris’s mother did, and that was one of the things about that moment I just didn’t realise – and I wasn’t thinking – but how many people got hurt in that moment.”
“Tony Rock was my man and this is probably irreparable”, Smith said.
In the five-minute video, the Independence Day star speaks about his decision not to immediately apologise to Rock that night as he accepted his best actor award for King Richard.
“I was fogged out by that point,” Smith explained of the moments following the controversial incident, which came after a joke Rock made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s buzz cut. Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia.
“It’s all fuzzy,” Smith said.
Smith added that he’s since reached out to Rock, but “the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk”.
“And when he is, he will reach out,” said Smith.
In a caption appended to the beginning of the interview-style video, the recent Oscar winner wrote: “Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work…You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.”
Rock addressed the slap in a comedy set he performed earlier this week (24 July) in New Jersey.
Jada Pinkett Smith has also commented on the incident.