Will Smith addressed the infamous Chris Rock slap during recent interview with Trevor Noah (Image via Getty Images)

“That was a horrific night”: Will Smith opens up on 'bottled rage' behind Chris Rock slap in moving Trevor Noah interview 

Will Smith recently appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and opened up about the infamous Oscar incident when he slapped Chris Rock onstage after the latter made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

Speaking on his absence from the public eye, the actor said:

“I have been away. What have y’all been doing?”
TONIGHT: Will Smith is here!

Shortly after, he acknowledged the 2022 Oscars and said that it was a “horrific night” and he “lost it” at the end of the day:

“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?”

Will Smith shared that he was going through some issues that night but clarified that it did not justify his behavior.


He also mentioned that his traumatic childhood experiences and the rage of seeing his father abuse his mother “bubbled up” inside him at the time, even though he did not want to be someone who was driven by anger:

“I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all… 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.”

The Pursuit of Happyness star further opened up about his rage and added:

“I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”

He even shared an anecdote from the aftermath of the Oscar slap incident and how it reflected his personal life:

“My nephew is nine. 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 is on my lap and he is holding the Oscar and he is just like, ‘Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?’ Damn it. Why are you trying to Oprah me?”

In response to Will Smith’s statement, Trevor Noah mentioned that he believes the former’s action at the Oscars is not a reflection of who he is as a person. The host ended the moving conversation by saying that everyone makes mistakes.

Twitter reacts to Will Smith’s statement about Oscars slap incident during Trevor Noah interview

Netizens were left divided over Will Smith's statement on Oscars Slap during Trevor Noah interview (Image via Getty Images)

Will Smith left the entertainment industry in shock when he slapped comedian Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars ceremony for the latter’s G.I. Jane joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

Although Pinkett Smith has been vocal about her struggles with alopecia, Rock claimed that he was unaware of her condition. Meanwhile, Smith was largely condemned for his actions and banned from the Academy for the next 10 years.

Following months of disappearance from the public eye, Smith recently made his first talk show appearance since the Oscars on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to promote his new film Emancipation.


During the interview, Smith addressed the Oscars controversy, saying it was a “horrific night” and that the slap was a result of his “bottled-up rage.” He also mentioned that his behavior cannot be justified irrespective of his personal trauma.

In the wake of the interview, several social media users took to Twitter to react to Smith’s statement. Many also praised Trevor Noah for his human approach to the situation and acknowledged Will Smith for taking responsibility for his actions. See some tweets below.

Will Smith doing his first mainstream interview with Trevor Noah might’ve been the best decision considering Trevor is a lot more insightful than some of these other hosts. That was the perfect platform to let Will know that there are ppl out there who still support Will.
Will Smith is brilliant for doing one of his first interviews with Trevor Noah. Genius.
Trevor Noah did a masterful job of this interview of Will Smith. He did his homework to pulling in the complexities and the humanity associated with The Slap as well as contextualizing the Emancipation movie Smith was there for to promote twitter.com/thedailyshow/s…
That pep talk Trevor Noah gave to Will Smith at the end of that interview, whew. A VERY human moment. The audience FELT how vulnerable Smith was on that stage. Will Smith NEEDED that hug from Noah.
I loved how Trevor Noah handled the interview with Will Smith it was more like friends chatting and being honest with each other
Trevor Noah’s interview with Will Smith just once again proves that he is really the best host there is how he managed to remain bold but respectful is something we dont see so often.
The Will Smith interview with @Trevornoah reminded me that we do have to say to a man at his lowest point that "this is your true colour."

I'm glad Will was upfront with his admittance and self-development. And of course, hats off to Trevor for another lovely "human" interview.
I am not trying to justify Will Smith's actions for slapping @chrisrock but @Trevornoah @CBSMornings ppl need to realize that when ppl suppress their trauma and not deal with it, their trauma will turn to anger/rage and they will take it out on someone else.
Watched the @Trevornoah and @willsmith interview re the movie #emancipation, and I’m reminded that we all make mistakes. Sometimes good people make bad choices. It doesn't mean they are bad people, it just means they are human.

Can we just be honest with ourselves and say we aren't mad at @willsmith for slapping Chris we are mad at him for ruining our image of him. Our hero has been exposed and we don't like it. Guess what its ok, even heroes need Grace. Great job @Trevornoah #thedailyshow

However, some users continued to call out Smith for his past actions and his approach to addressing the controversy.

Why am I seeing Will Smith as a guest on Trevor Noah? Why is this guy getting any airtime?
Will Smith blaming everyone and everything but hisself on #trevornoah
@Trevornoah please remember that this is how @willsmith dealt with his “horrific” night while he was “going through” something and having “lost it”.
The truth is he hit a man because he wanted to and his grandiose sense of entitlement made him believe he could do it with impunity

While Smith received the Oscar Award for Best Actor for his work in King Richard following the slap incident, he faced major backlash over his actions. The actor also apologized for his behavior onstage and posted a series of personal apologies to Chris Rock.

In the wake of the Oscars, Rock addressed the incident during some of his comedy shows but is yet to officially acknowledge Will Smith’s apology.

Edited by
Vinay Agrawal
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