Will Smith to Chris Rock: ‘I would like to publicly apologize to you… I am a work in progress’

Will Smith apologized to the comedian Chris Rock on Monday evening for slapping him during Sunday night’s Oscars telecast.

Smith, who had pointedly not apologized to Rock on Sunday night when he accepted the award for best actor, wrote on Instagram Monday evening that “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris.”

“I was out of line and I was wrong,” read the statement. “I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be.”

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith’s apology note begins.

“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.”

It concludes with a simple sign-off. “I am a work in progress.”

Smith’s full post is embedded below.

The note comes after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which administers the awards, denounced his actions and opened an inquiry into the incident.

“The academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the film organization said in a statement. “We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law.”

The incident unfolded Sunday night after Rock made a joke about the buzzed hair of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, a condition that leads to hair loss.

In his onstage remarks after winning Best Actor, Smith apologized to the academy and to his fellow nominees but not to Rock.