The day after the 2022 Oscars, Smith issued a formal public apology to Rock, the Academy, Oscars producers, and viewers who witnessed his altercation. "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable," he wrote in an Instagram post. "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."
He added: "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." Smith wrapped up his statement by apologizing to the Williams family and the "King Richard" cast. "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."
Afterwards, NBC News reported that the actor's real-life "King Richard" counterpart, Richard Williams, weighed in on the controversy and condemned Smith's actions. "We don't know all the details of what happened," Williams told the outlet, via his son Chavoita LeSane. "But we don't condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it's in self-defense."