Smith broke a months-long silence on social media on Friday (29 July), when he posted a video in which he answered numerous questions he has received since slapping Rock in the face on stage at the Academy Awards in March 2022.
In the video, the actor claimed he had tried to approach Rock to apologise in the aftermath of the event but was told by Rock's team the comedian 'wasn't ready to talk to him'.
He used the post as a way to apologise for his actions, adding: "So I will say to you, Chris, I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."
Rock doesn't appear to have responded directly to Smith as of yet, but he referenced the Men In Black star as part of a monologue at his stand-up show in Atlanta on Friday night, hours after Smith posted the video, when he told the audience: "Everybody is trying to be a...victim."
Speaking amid his Chris Rock Ego Death World Tour, Rock continued: "If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims. Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith…I went to work the next day, I got kids. Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face."
As well as apologising to Rock in the video, Smith expressed his apologies to Chris' mother and his younger brother, Tony.
He said: "I want to apologise to Chris' mother... I didn't realise, I wasn't thinking how many people got hurt in that moment. I want to apologise to Chris' family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship."
Smith claimed he'd spent the months since the slap occurred 'replaying and understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened, adding: "I'm not going to try to unpack that right now but I can say to all of you that there is no part of me that thinks that's the right way to behave in that moment.
"There's no part of me that thinks that's the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insult."
Smith stormed the stage to slap Rock after he joked about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, though he claimed in the video Pinkett Smith had 'nothing to do with his decision', saying instead he 'made a choice on [his] own'.
Following the incident, Smith resigned from the Academy.
The Academy also barred Smith from attending an Oscars ceremony for the next 10 years.
Featured Image Credit: UPI / Alamy Stock Photo / Will Smith/YouTube