In the long run On a list of ways your parents can embarrass you, punching Chris Rock on the Oscars stage in front of millions of viewers would rank pretty high, you’d think.
But Willow Smith seems relatively at peace with her father Will Smith’s infamous outburst, breaking her silence in her first public comments since the awards ceremony earlier this year.
Speaking to Billboard for an interview published Friday, Smith reflected on the public reaction to the incident, which she said “didn’t rock me as much as my own internal demons.”
“I see my whole family as people, and I love and accept them for all their humanity,” she told the newspaper. “Because of the position we are in, our humanity is sometimes not accepted and we are expected to act in a way that is not conducive to a healthy human life and is not conducive to being honest.”
Since the ceremony, Smith, who attended the Vanity Fair Oscars 2022 after-party by her father’s side, has kept quiet about Will’s actions aside from a couple of cryptic tweets.
Late last month, Will Smith broke his own months-long silence about the incident with a video statement, in which he once again expressed regret for punching Rock over a joke he made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss.
“There’s no part of me that thinks that was the optimal way to deal with feelings of disrespect or insults,” Smith said in the nearly six-minute video. “I want to tell you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here when you’re ready to talk.”
The actor went on to directly apologize to his family for the “heat I brought on all of us,” while clarifying that Pinkett Smith had “nothing to do” with his decision-making process.
“I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences and my history with Chris,” Smith said.
In the wake of the outcry, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banned the “King Richard” star from attending its official events, including the awards ceremony, for the next decade.
Pinkett Smith also addressed the spat publicly during an episode of her “Red Table Talk” show, where she urged Rock to reconcile with her husband.
“My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, speak out and reconcile,” she said. “The state of the world today? We need them both, and indeed we all need each other more than ever.”
However, Rock has reportedly “moved on” from the incident and “doesn’t need to talk,” an unidentified source told People.
“This is clearly something that bothers Will more than Chris. Will has to deal with his issues,” the source said. “Chris is fine.”