Will Smith 'apologetic' about Chris Rock Oscars slap, says Kevin Hart

Hollywood funnyman says he hopes his two friends will find a way to move past the infamous incident

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Kevin Hart says Will Smith is now "in a better space" and is "apologetic" after the infamous Chris Rock slap at the Oscars.

Hart, who is friends with both actors, also urged fans to give Smith "the opportunity to grow".

“Will is apologetic, you know, he’s in a better space, of course, than what he was after," Hart told Entertainment Tonight while promoting his latest film DC League of Super-Pets.

"People are human and as humans sometimes we make mistakes. So it’s not about talking about the past, it’s about acknowledging the present and doing your best to move forward.”

In March, during the Oscars ceremony, Rock was presenting an award when he made a joke about the hair of Smith's wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith.

Smith stormed on stage and slapped Rock across the face before returning to his chair in the audience and screaming expletives at Rock, in what has been dubbed as the most shocking moment to ever come from the Oscars.

Smith, who went on to win the Best Actor Oscar that evening, has not spoken about the incident since he posted an Instagram apology.

He did however resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, and was banned from attending any of their events for 10 years.

Many of Smith's film projects have also been put on hold following the slap.

Rock, too, has not addressed the incident, only saying he is “still processing” what happened during one of his stand-up shows a few days after the Oscars ceremony.

“I can get only hope that the two of them find a way to find some solace in that and move past it … I still love [Will], I still love Chris, and, you know, you can’t judge a person by one thing. Ultimately, life goes on and people grow, so give him the opportunity to do so," Hart said in his interview.

Both Hart and Smith were born in Philadelphia and Hart has often thanked him for paving the path for him in Hollywood.

Hart and Rock are old comedy friends and are set to go on their first stand-up tour together in the US. Called Rock Hart: Only Headliners Allowed, the tour begins in New York on July 21.

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Updated: July 15, 2022, 9:36 AM