Jada Pinkett Smith has directly addressed the moment husband Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars for the first time in depth, saying she hopes the two men have the ‘opportunity to heal’ and ‘reconcile’ after the shocking incident.
Speaking ahead of a Red Table Talk special on alopecia released Wednesday, Jada, 50, began by referencing the controversy when Will, 53, assaulted Chris, 57, after he made a joke about Jada’s bald head, which is the result of her suffering from the autoimmune disorder.
‘This is a really important Red Table Talk on alopecia. Considering what I’ve been through with my own health and what happened at the Oscars,’ the actress began.
‘Thousands have reached out to me with their stories. I’m using this moment to give our alopecia family an opportunity to talk about what it’s like to have this condition and to inform people about what alopecia actually is.
Speaking out: Jada Pinkett Smith breaks her silence on THAT Oscars slap saying she wants husband Will Smith and Chris Rock to ‘talk it out’ on Red Table Talk alopecia special
Addressing the infamous slap, Jada said: ‘Now about Oscar night, my deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile.
She continued: ‘The state of the world today, we need them both. And we all actually need one another more than ever. Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that’s keep figuring out this thing called life together. Thank you for listening.’
Following the incident, Will was seen partying the night away with his family at the Vanity Fair Oscars bash, dancing to his own song Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It as crowds cheered him on.
However, a few days later he apologized in an official statement saying his behavior was ‘unacceptable and inexcusable’ and left him ’embarrassed’.
Shocking: The moment Will, 53, assaulted Chris, 57, after he made a joke about Jada’s bald head, which is the result of her suffering from the autoimmune disorder
‘Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,’ he wrote.
‘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.’
Chris has not responded to Will’s apology, but has referenced the slap multiple times since during his stand up performances.
Last month, Chris joked that he ‘got most of my hearing back’ after the slap, during a set at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Addressing the controversy: It is the first time that Jada has talked about the incident in depth
Her side of the story: Jada called both Will and Chris ‘intelligent, capable men’ and said she hoped they ‘have an opportunity to heal’
After a formal review of the incident in April, Will was banned from the Oscars for 10 years, but was allowed to keep his Best Actor award that he won for King Richard.
In a statement, the Academy blasted his ‘unacceptable’ and ‘harmful’ behavior that ‘overshadowed’ the entire evening.
‘During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented.
‘The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.
‘We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast.’
Devastating: Jada invited Niki Ball on Red Table Talk who revealed her daughter died by suicide over bullying due to her having alopecia
Emotional: Jada’s daughter Willow Smith could be seen getting visibly emotional as they talked about the subject
Moved: Jada also looked upset as she heard the story on the special episode, which she introduced by referencing the Oscars slap
During the full episode of Wednesday’s Red Table Talk, Jada discussed the topic of alopecia with her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris and daughter Willow Smith.
‘People don’t understand what alopecia is, and they don’t understand the effects of it,’ Jada said on the show.
It had been reported that sources close to Chris Rock said the comedian was not aware that Jada suffered from alopecia when he made the joke about her being bald.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that can cause unpredictable, patchy hair loss, and it affects approximately 7 million people in the US.
After introducing the show and referring to the Oscars slap moment, Jada brought on mother Niki Ball, whose daughter Rio Allred suffered from alopecia and died by suicide as a result of the bullying she received.
Niki revealed that her 12-year-old daughter Rio died just two weeks before the Oscars slap incident took place. ‘People are going to be Googling, “what is alopecia?” Like “what is this that we’ve never heard of?” It’s not a joke,’ she said.
The episode also brought on former NBA player Charlie Villanueva and a hair surgeon who both talked about their struggles with alopecia.
Chris has not responded to Will’s apology, but has referenced the slap multiple times since during his stand up performances