Will Smith Apologizes to Chris Rock, Says 'Violence in All Forms Is Poisonous': 'I Am Embarrassed'

"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," Will Smith wrote on Instagram

Will Smith is publicly apologizing to Chris Rock after the King Richard star smacked the comedian in the face Sunday night.

On Monday, Smith, 53, wrote a lengthy statement on Instagram, admitting he was wrong for striking Rock, 57, onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards.

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. 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," Smith began.

"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," he continued, which was the first time the Oscar winner directly apologized to the man he hit. "There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness."

"I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family," the actor continued. "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."

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Chris Rock; Will Smith. Getty (2)

The incident occurred Sunday night after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hair, saying in part, "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see ya."

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The comment was about Pinkett Smith's hair matching Demi Moore's shaved head in the movie G.I. Jane. Pinkett Smith recently opened up about her bald head, revealing it was a result of her years-long struggle with alopecia. Pinkett Smith was visibly unamused, rolling her eyes from her seat.

Seconds later, Smith walked onstage and approached Rock, smacking him in front of the audience and millions watching at home. Back at his table, Smith shouted to a stunned Rock, "Keep my wife's name out of your f---ing mouth," then remained seated with Pinkett Smith at his table for the rest of the night.

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Chris Rock and Will Smith at the Oscars on March 27, 2022. Robyn Beck/getty

When Smith won Best Actor later in the ceremony, he apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees but did not mention Rock. In his tearful speech, he spoke about acting out of love and protection, saying, "Love makes you do crazy things."

Rock has not yet spoken out since the incident. He declined to press charges, and reps for the comedian have not responded to PEOPLE's request for comment.

In an initial statement after the show, the Academy said it "does not condone violence of any form" and added, "Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world."

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On Monday afternoon, the Academy said in a statement, "The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show. 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."

In addition, the Academy shared the organization's Standards of Conduct that "provide an ethical framework for Academy members," and stated, "Members should act in a manner consistent with the good reputation of the Academy."

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As listed in the document, unacceptable conduct includes "physical contact that is uninvited and, in the situation, inappropriate and unwelcome."

The Standards of Conduct also say that if a member is found to have violated the standards, "the Academy may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy's Bylaws, up to and including suspension of membership or expulsion from membership."

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