Will Smith returned to the public eye to discuss his upcoming film, Emancipation and addressed the notorious Oscars slap. “I understood the idea where they say hurt people hurt people,” Smith told Trevor Noah. “That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”

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Smith and Noah discussed the moment when Smith slapped Oscars host Chris Rock earlier this year after he made a joke about his wife’s, Jada Pinkett Smith‘s, hair.

Smith appeared somber and serious during most of the 20-minute interview, wiping away tears and at times deflecting with jokes.

He said one of the hardest things over the last few months he’s spent out of the spotlight was figuring out how to forgive himself “for being human.”

“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine,” Smith said. “There’s many nuances and complexities to it, you know. But at the end of the day, I just lost it.”

Smith addressed the audience directly to impart what wisdom he’s gained during the aftermath of the whole ordeal.

“I guess what I would say, you just never know what somebody’s going through,” the actor said. “And I was going through something that night. Not that that justifies my behavior at all. That’s not who I wanna be.”

Noah supported Smith, saying the Oscars incident that caused such an uproar isn’t indicative of the person he is.

“You stood up for the wrong thing in the wrong time,” Noah said. “I think everybody can make a mistake. The reason it was shocking is because that’s not who you are.”

As the star of what Smith called “an absolute masterpiece,” he expressed worry about how his behavior that night might negatively affect the film.

“I hope that their work will be honored and their work will not be tainted based on a horrific decision on my part,” Smith said about the film’s creators.

“I don’t want that to define you, I don’t think that should define you,” Noah said. “I don’t think any one of us in life deserves to be defined by our f— up.”

Emancipation is scheduled to be released in select cinemas on December 2, and available for streaming on Apple TV+ on December 9.

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