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Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock for 'out of line' behavior at Oscars

Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock Monday afternoon, stating that his behavior was "out of line" and "not indicative of the man I want to be."

Nearly 24 hours after the incident claimed headlines around the world, which saw Smith slap comedian Chris Rock after a joke was made at the expense of Smith's wife — Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia

The scene unfolded after Rock referred to Pinkett Smith as G.I. Jane, due to her bald appearance. 

Smith, who appeared to laugh at the joke initially, approached Rock on stage and slapped the comedian before walking back to his seat in the audience, where he could be shouting, "Keep my wife's name out your f---ing mouth!"

The statement in full:

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. 

I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness. 

I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my 'King Richard' family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. 

I am a work in progress."

The incident was followed up by thousands of reactions on social media both during and after the conclusion of Sunday's Academy Awards, where Smith was awarded with Best Actor for his performance in "King Richard," many of which came from fellow icons in the entertainment industry like Rob Reiner, Tiffani Haddish, Kathy Griffin and Judd Apatow, among many more.

Fans in Hollywood reacted with similar shock Monday evening while speaking with CBS reporters. 

"To be honest, it was kind of unexpected," said one man. 

Another fell in line with a similar train of thought, indicating how "everybody thought it was fake."

The Los Angeles Police Department also issued a statement, indicating that they were aware of the event but that they were not pursuing an investigation as Rock denied pressing charges against Smith. 

Both the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced that they would be launching separate inquiries into the altercation, condemning Smith's brash actions. 

It was not immediately clear what actions the Academy was going to take, as noted by Variety's Senior Editor Marc Malkin, who disclosed that "the Academy does not take those things lightly.  So it's going to be interesting if there's a call for him to give back his Oscar."

Malkin said that he approached Smith at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party which took place after the conclusion of the awards show. 

"I said, 'How are you doing?' and he just looked at me and said, 'It's all about love.'"

Following the incident, several notable names came to Smith's counsel at the Academy Awards including Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper.

Clayton Davis, the Senior Awards Editor of Variety, also spoke with CBS reporters, detailing the moments after the altercation. 

"I was in the room," Davis said. "I saw when Denzel brought him to the side." 

Smith addressed what he and Denzel talked about during his acceptance speech, noting how Washington told him, "When you're at your highest is when the devil will find you."

"I think that went mile," Davis continued. "Even though we would've all taken it as fake and not genuine, him apologizing to Chris Rock in that moment may have did him more good than he would have thought."

Will Packer, one of the award show's producers, also tweeted his own statement following the show, which said: "Black people have a defiant spirit of laughter when it comes to dealing with pain... but I also don't mind being transparent and say this was a very painful moment for me. On many levels."

Additionally, NAACP President Derrick Johnson also wrote, "the way casual violence was normalized tonight by a collective national audience will have consequences that we can't even fathom."

Sean "Diddy" Combs also addressed the situation when he took the stage immediately after the slapping incident to introduce a 50th anniversary celebration of "The Godfather."

"Will and Chris, we're going to solve that like family," he said.

Diddy also offered comment at Vanity Fair's after party, where he told the New York Post, "That's not a problem. That's over. I can confirm that."

Rock has yet to issue any statement in regard to the incident. 

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