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Willow Smith says Oscars slap didn't 'rock me as much as my own internal demons'

Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock in a video posted at the end of July.
/ Source: TODAY

After her family faced strong social media backlash following Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, Willow Smith is breaking her silence and publicly addressing the incident for the first time ever in a new interview.

Willow Smith told Billboard in an interview that the controversial slap didn't “rock me as much as my own internal demons.”

“I see my whole family as being human, and I love and accept them for all their humanness,” the 21-year-old musician said. “Because of the position that we’re in, our humanness sometimes isn’t accepted, and we’re expected to act in a way that isn’t conducive to a healthy human life and isn’t conducive to being honest.”

Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Will Smith, holding with his award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for "King Richard," pose following the 94th Oscars.PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

During the Academy Awards ceremony in March, Rock compared Pickett Smith’s bald head to G.I. Jane. The joke caused controversy, however, because Pickett Smith has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss.

Following the joke, a camera caught Pickett Smith looking disappointed. Will Smith subsequently walked onto the stage, slapped Rock across the face before returning to his seat and yelledd “keep my wife’s name out your f------ mouth.”

Willow accompanied her parents to a Vanity Fair after party the night of the incident and made no public statement on it — until now. Her brother, Jaden Smith, simply tweeted after the ceremony ended: “And That’s How We Do It.”

On July 29, Will Smith addressed "the slap heard around the world" about four months after the 94th Oscars.

In a video posted to Instagram, the actor answered questions about the moment. He apologized to Rock and addressed why he didn't immediately apologize in his acceptance speech for best actor.

“I was fogged out by that point,” Will Smith said. “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. 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.”

“I can say to all of you: There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment,” Smith added in the apology video. “There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults.”