The Williams family have been responding to Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars.
Smith won the best actor award at the ceremony for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father and coach of tennis icons Venus and Serena, but the evening was mired in controversy.
These Oscars will forever be remembered for being the ceremony where Smith attacked RockGetty Images – Getty Smith won the best actor prize for his portrayal of Richard WilliamsAFP
The actor appeared to take offence at a gag comedian Rock made about wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s short haircut before taking to the stage and striking him in front of the star-studded audience in Los Angeles.
Pinkett Smith has previously spoken about her struggles with alopecia and said it is what prompted her to shave her head.
Shortly after the incident, 23-time singles Grand Slam winner Serena Williams shared a video on her Instagram showing her looking shocked.
In a second clip, the sportswoman admitted she ‘had to put her drink down’.
Richard Williams was the subject of the Hollywood blockbuster and the early stages of him coaching his daughters and their upbringing in Compton.
Venus and Serena went on to win a combined 62 Grand Slam titles over their careers and Williams senior reacted to the incident.
(Serena, Venus and Williams family members, you deserved SO much better!) pic.twitter.com/E42W6YfvGN
— TENNIS (@Tennis) March 28, 2022
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“We don’t know all the details of what happened,” Williams said through his son Chavoita LeSane. “But we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defence.”
Smith later apologised to many people, including the Williams family, for the incident.
In a statement posted to Instagram the actor said: “I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong.
Williams Snr coached Venus and Serena at the start of their careersAFP
“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.
“I would also like to apologise to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologise to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family.
“I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”
Smith concluded his apology by saying: “I am a work in progress.”
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