The 21-year-old singer shared a telling quote via her Instagram Story on Tuesday, March 29, two days after the awards show altercation. “You know who’s going through a lot right now? Literally everyone. Just be kind,” the message read.
Willow is the latest member of the Smith family to speak out after the shocking incident at the Academy Awards on Sunday, March 27. The televised ceremony took a turn when Rock, 57, made a comment about Jada Pinkett Smith appearing in a G.I. Jane sequel due to her shaved head, which prompted the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum, 53, to march up to the stage and smack the comedian across the face.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth,” the Philadelphia native shouted after he sat back down.
The Will author and his wife, 50, “were in good spirits” when they arrived at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, a source exclusively told Us Weekly, noting that “things seemed tense” between the couple during their night out. “Will was not as playful and goofy as he usually is. He was more serious.”
Before Rock, cohost Regina Hall took a swipe at the pair’s marriage, joking that Pinkett Smith approved her husband as one of the “single” men eligible for COVID-19 testing, referencing the Red Table Talk cohost’s previous “entanglement” with singer August Alsina. “Will gave a small, polite smile, but those around him could tell he did not think the joke was funny,” the insider said.
With his temper already triggered, the Gemini Man actor reached his breaking point after Rock’s quip. “At first, Will looked to be taking the joke in stride, but after Jada looked visibly upset, Will immediately stood up and took action,” the source told Us, adding that the rapper “had a short, but serious conversation” with Pinkett Smith about the incident. “Will seemed devastated and very sad directly after.”
The King Richard star went on to win the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of the biopic’s titular character, speaking about feeling a duty to protect Black women during his tearful acceptance speech. He later issued an apology to Rock for his “destructive” behavior, calling himself a “work in progress” in a lengthy Instagram statement.
“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,” he wrote on Monday, March 28. “I would also like to apologize to The Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world.”
Will noted that he “deeply” regretted what happened at the ceremony for the way it “stained” the special moment for the King Richard cast and crew, including Serena Williams and Venus Williams, who served as executive producers on the film about their father.
Rock has yet to address the situation, but Pinkett Smith broke her silence via Instagram on Tuesday. “This is a season for healing,” a quote read. “And I’m here for it.”