The “King Richard” actor appeared on the late-night TV show, “The Daily Show”, hosted by Trevor Noah. According to the 54-year-old actor, he had “rage” bottled for a long time. He said, “That was a horrific night, as you can imagine. You know, there’s many nuances and complexities to it.”
“But at the end of the day, I just, I lost it, you know? And I guess what I would say, you just never know what somebody’s going through. In the audience right now, you are sitting next to strangers, and somebody’s mother died last week, somebody’s child is sick, somebody just lost their job, somebody just found out their spouse cheated,” Smith continued.
“You just don’t know what is going on with people. And I was going through something that night. Not that that justifies my behavior at all.”
The “Men in Black” star explained that anger “bubbled up” within him after the 57-year-old comedian joked about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. She’s been suffering from alopecia.
Smith went on, “It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother. All of that just bubbled up in that moment.”
“I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time. … That is not who I want to be.”
The Academy Award winner also recalled breaking down after his nephew, 9, asked him about it. He shared, “He is the sweetest little boy. … We came home, and it’s like, he had stayed up late to see his uncle Will, and we are sitting in my kitchen, and he is on my lap, and he is holding the Oscar, and he is just like, ‘Why did you hit that man, uncle Will?’”
When Noah, 38, asked the actor about the lesson he learned from the incident, Will answered, “Hurt people hurt people.”
“You are asking what did I learn, and it is that we just got to be nice to each other, man,” he said.
“I guess the thing that was most painful for me is, I took my hard and made it hard for other people.”
Smith wasn’t able to apologize to Rock at the Oscars that night but he did apologize to him in social media.
“And trust me, there is nobody that hates the fact that I’m human more than me,” he added.
After the incident, Smith resigned from the Academy and he was banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years.