Home US Will Smith Wins Best Actor Oscar After Shocking Onstage Slap: ‘I Want To Apologize’
US - March 28, 2022

Will Smith Wins Best Actor Oscar After Shocking Onstage Slap: ‘I Want To Apologize’

“King Richard” star Will Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams.

Smith’s win followed a stunning moment earlier at the ceremony. He walked onstage and hit presenter and former Oscars host Chris Rock. Rock had insulted Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, referencing her shaved head.

Pinkett Smith has been open about her struggle with alopecia. In a shocking exchange that was bleeped out on the ABC broadcast, Smith said to Rock: “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” and then hit the comedian.

In his tearful acceptance speech, Smith apologized to the academy and to his fellow nominees for the incident, promising to “be a vessel for love.”

“I’m being called on in my life to love people, and to protect people, and to be a river to my people,” he said. “I know, to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse. You gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. You gotta have people disrespecting people and you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that’s OK.”

Referring to fellow Best Actor nominee Denzel Washington, who was seen comforting Smith during a commercial break, he said the actor “said to me, ‘At your highest moment, you gotta be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.’”

Smith also thanked Venus and Serena Williams and their family, who served as executive producers on the film, and called Richard Williams “a fierce defender of his family.”

The actor also joked about how “art imitates life.” “Love will make you do crazy things,” he said.

“This is a beautiful moment,” Smith continued. “I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me.”

It was the star’s third nod for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. Smith was nominated for 2001’s “Ali” and 2006’s “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

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