Serena Williams opened up about her feelings on Will Smith's infamous 2022 Oscars slap, one year after the star won Best Actor for playing her father in the biopic King Richard and made headlines with one of the most shocking Academy Awards moments in history.
"I thought it was such an incredible film, and I feel that there was an incredible film after that with Questlove that kind of was overshadowed," Williams told Gayle King on CBS Mornings in the clip below, referencing the moment Smith approached Rock — who was on stage to present Questlove with the award for Best Documentary Feature — and hit him in the face after he joked about the shaved head of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia.
"I also feel that I've been in a position where I've been under a lot of pressure and made a tremendous amount of mistakes," Williams continued. "I'm the kind of person that's like, I've been there, I've made a mistake, it's not the end of the world. We're all imperfect and we're all human, and let's just be kind to each other. And I think that's often forgotten a lot."
Williams was in attendance at the ceremony alongside her sister, Venus Williams, after fictionalized versions of the sisters appeared in King Richard, a film about how the pair's titular father raised them to become all-time great tennis pros.
The slap became one of the most contentious pop culture moments of the year, with The View dressing a child in a Halloween costume inspired by the moment last October, and comedian Eddie Murphy referencing the moment in an unexpected joke during his Cecil B. DeMille Award acceptance speech at the 2023 Golden Globes.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Serena Williams addresses Oscars slap after Will Smith played her father in 'King Richard.'
After her husband shared an initial apology to Instagram following the ceremony, Pinkett Smith opened an episode of her Red Table Talk show by calling for Smith and Rock to "reconcile" their differences.
Smith later elaborated on his decision to hit Rock in an emotional video he shared to YouTube in July 2022, in which he said he'd undergone a lot of "thinking and personal work," though The Academy still banned him from attending any of the organization's events for the next decade.
"I was fogged out by that point. It's all fuzzy. I've reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out," Smith said. "So, I will say to you, Chris. I apologize to you, my behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."
Watch Williams address Smith's Oscars slap in the video above.
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