What Business Leaders Can Learn From Will Smith’s Apology For Slapping Chris Rock

Actor Will Smith apologized Monday for slapping comedian Chris Rock in reaction to his joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith at Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, California.

As indignant as Smith was with Rock, he could have taken care of the scenario superior.

Brandy Aven is an associate professor of organizational theory at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper University of Business enterprise. She said Smith’s anger was understandable, and he was thoroughly entitled to it. “However, it is the expression of it that was not ideal, and I consider he would agree.

“He escalated to violence when there had been quite a few other alternate responses that may have been more impactful. For instance, if he had emerged on the stage and demanded an apology that would have been much much more proper to enable Chris Rock and the audience have an understanding of how hurtful feedback about appearance can be, particularly if it is a regarded healthcare difficulty,” she stated.

Key Lessons

When confronted with the want to apologize, organization executives can understand the next classes from Smith’s apology that he posted on Instagram.

Do not Wait around

  • While Smith apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees when he acknowledged the Ideal Actor award final evening, he made no mention of Rock.

Be Immediate

  • He identified as his have habits “unacceptable and inexcusable.”

Make It Personalized When Ideal

  • Smith claimed that, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris.”

Demonstrate What Prompted Your Actions

  • In his assertion currently, Smith admitted that ,”…a joke about Jada’s health care affliction was way too substantially to bear, and I reacted emotionally.”

Be Very clear

  • Make it distinct why you ended up erroneous. Smith wrote that, “I was out of line, and I was incorrect.”

Express Embarrassment/Regret/Regret

  • He pointed out that, “I am ashamed and my steps were not indicative of the gentleman I want to be.”
  • Smith wrote that, “I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an usually attractive journey for all of us.”

Place Factors In Appropriate Viewpoint

  • The actor stated that, “There is no location for violence in a entire world of appreciate and kindness.”
  • He admitted that, “I am a perform in progress.”

Never Depart Any individual Out

  • He finished his apology by expressing, “I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the demonstrate, all the attendees and everybody seeing all-around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Relatives.”

Way too Late To Make any difference?

Smith’s delayed apology may not be ample to conserve him from the effects of his steps. Despite the fact that Rock declined to push prices towards the actor, he has six months to change his mind. He also has the alternative of suing Smith.

Before right now the Academy issued this assertion: “The academy condemns the steps of Mr. Smith at final night’s clearly show. We have formally started off a formal evaluate all-around the incident and will check out even further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of perform and California legislation.”

There was early speculation that the Academy might get way Smith’s Oscar, ban him from upcoming ceremonies, cancel his membership in the Academy or penalize him in other strategies.


Although some on social media stated they could realize why Smith received angry at Rock, couple condoned his violent reaction.

On Twitter, Rob Reiner stated that, “Will Smith owes Chris Rock a massive apology. There is no justification for what he did. He’s blessed Chris is not filing assault costs. The excuses he produced tonight ended up [BS].”

“Let me tell you anything, it’s a incredibly poor practice to stroll up on phase and physically assault a comic,” Kathy Griffin wrote on Twitter. “Now we all have to worry about who needs to be the subsequent Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters,” in accordance to ABC News.

Persons reported that, “Noting that she thought Will’s outburst was a outcome of “a large amount of stuff developed up,” together with a joke that Rock, 57, created at Jada’s cost at the 2016 Oscars. Whoopi Goldberg included, “I believe he overreacted.’”