About 40 minutes after slapping Oscars host Chris Rock in a shocking moment during the annual awards show on Sunday, Will Smith won the Academy Award for best leading actor.
Richard Williams — the man Smith portrayed on screen in his award-winning role — is condemning what Smith did on Sunday night.
“We don’t know all the details of what happened,” Williams told NBC News through his son, Chavoita LeSane. “But we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defense.”
Smith rushed onstage during the Sunday night broadcast and hit Rock after the host made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, a hair loss condition, and keeps her head shaved. It was a shocking moment that has overshadowed everything else that went on that night.
Smith apologized to the Academy during his acceptance speech, saying he looked “like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams.”
About 24 hours after the incident, Smith took to Instagram and apologized to Rock and say that his own “behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.”
Smith’s mother, Carolyn Smith, said in an interview that she had never seen her son get so angry that he was driven to violence.
“He is a very even, people person. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime … I’ve never seen him do that,” Carolyn Smith said.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced on Monday that it had launched an inquiry into Smith’s slap of Rock during the show.