Tatyana Ali Weighs In on Will Smith's Oscars Slap: Chris Rock 'Didn't Deserve to Be Hit'

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actress condemned her former costar's move while saying she still believes in him in a brief message shared on Twitter a week after the incident

Will Smith, Tatyana Ali, Chris Rock
Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty; Leon Bennett/Getty; Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Tatyana Ali believes Chris Rock "didn't deserve to be hit" by Will Smith over a joke told by the comedian during the 94th Academy Awards.

One week after Smith's slap, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actress condemned her former costar's move in a brief message shared on Twitter.

"I love #WillSmith very much," Ali, 43, wrote before emphasizing her belief that Rock, 57, "didn't deserve to be hit" by Smith, 53. "Period."

"My heart aches for what has happened," she continued. "I don't know what caused that chaos & confusion, but I do know that Will has a big heart. I've seen him many times try his best to do what is right. I believe in him."

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Ali and Smith starred together on all six seasons of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 – 1996.

Smith's slap last weekend was preceded by a G.I. Jane joke directed at Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith, 50, who recently opened up about having alopecia.

On Friday, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in response to his actions at last Sunday's award show. In a statement made via his representative and sent to PEOPLE, the King Richard star said he "will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct" as a result of his actions at the Academy Awards, which he called "shocking, painful, and inexcusable."

"The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy," Smith said. "I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken."

Will Smith
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

"I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film," the 2022 best actor Oscar winner continued.

David Rubin, President of the Academy, said in a statement sent to PEOPLE on Friday that the organization had accepted Smith's resignation.

However, Rubin said the Academy planned to "move forward" with disciplinary proceedings against Smith "for violations of the Academy's Standards of Conduct" ahead of their April 18 board meeting.

During Rock's first show after the incident on Wednesday, the comedian told a crowd at The Wilbur Theatre in Boston that he was still "processing" what happened at the Oscars.

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