Actress Nia Long recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter and opened up about how she communicated with both actors Will Smith and Chris Rock after their infamous incident, which took place at the 94th Annual Academy Awards back in March.
Nia said she checked on Will Smith and Chris Rock. After all, she is friends with both of them, adding that it was hard for her because both of them are like brothers to her. She further said that she prays that they can come to a place where they can at least be civil with one another and make peace.
Will Smith walked up to Chris Rock, who had appeared on stage at the time to present an award, and before he went ahead to announce the award, he cracked a joke on Jada Pinkett Smith, which Will did not like, and he slapped him asking him to quit talking about his wife. The actor later explained in a statement that a joke on his wife’s health was something too much for him to bear, and he reacted emotionally.
Following the incident, Will Smith who also won Best Actor for his work in King Richard, resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and the authorities eventually announced that he would be barred from attending Academy events for a decade. Since then, Will Smith has attempted to apologize to Chris Rock multiple times and has shared a lengthy video in which he explains that he did reach out to the comedian-actor, who at the time was not ready to accept the apology.
Will Smith added in his video that he will wait until Chris Rock is ready to hear him out, clarifying that he waited three months to talk about it because he wanted to process what had happened, reflect, and work it through at his own pace rather than putting out an apology video just for the sake of it. He also apologized to Chris Rock's family and clarified that he does not want to be remembered like this and he has been working on himself to be a better human being.
The Men in Black star is now gearing up to return to the big screen after the whole Academy Award situation with his slavery epic Emancipation, and he is still technically eligible for another Academy Award nomination. Entertainment Weekly Awards Correspondent Dave Karger told PEOPLE that it's right that Will Smith can be nominated and might even win the Academy Award but even if he wins, he won't be able to accept it in person because of the ban. Will Smith recently spoke to Trevor Noah about his upcoming film, and spoke about the infamous slap as well saying that there are many ambiguities and challenges to it, but at the end of the day, he just lost it.
Will Smith stated that the 94th Annual Academy Awards were one of the best and worst nights of his life, adding that he has no independent recollection of the night and describing it as a horrific night. Chris Rock has not yet addressed the incident publicly.