"I was out of line and I was wrong."
Will Smith has apologised to Chris Rock for his “unacceptable and inexcusable” behaviour.
He released a statement shortly after the Oscars film academy condemned Smith over the incident and announced a formal review.
In what has become the award ceremony’s most talked-about event, the actor slapped the comedian onstage.
Chris Rock took to the stage to present ‘Best Documentary’.
He then made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her shaved head which is a result of hairloss condition alopecia.
Rock said: “Jada, I love ya. GI Jane 2, I can’t wait to see it!”
The joke was a reference to the 1997 drama GI Jane, which saw Demi Moore shave her head to play Jordan O’Neil, the first woman to undergo Navy Seal training.
Will Smith then walked on stage and slapped the comedian before walking off and telling him not to talk about his wife.
The incident resulted in mixed views aimed at both stars.
While some applauded Smith for defending his wife, others criticised him for using violence.
Meanwhile, some people slammed Rock for his joke while others praised him for continuing in a cool manner afterwards.
Shortly after, Smith picked up ‘Best Actor’ for playing the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard.
He has now issued a lengthy statement, directly apologising to Chris Rock.
He wrote: “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.
“My behaviour 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 apologise 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.”
“I would also like to apologise to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world.
“I would like to apologise to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family.
“I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”
Prior to Will Smith’s apology, the Oscars film academy condemned his actions.
It said: “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.”