After nearly 30 years as one of the most watched stars in Hollywood, Will Smith has finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor. The former Prince of Bel-Air won an award at the 94th Academy Awards Sunday for his performance as Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, in the miniseries. history King Richard – also nominated for Best Picture.
But victory will forever be overshadowed by a shocking moment earlier in the night. After Best Documentary host Chris Rock teased Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith took the stage and slapped the comedian in the face. The TV show paused for silence after the conflict, as Smith continued to curse at Rock.
As international broadcasts of the ceremony confirmed, Smith told Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your mouth!” Nothing about the moment felt staged, and no one involved in the ceremony immediately clarified what happened.
Rock previously hosted the Oscars in 2016, where he joked about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s boycott of the Oscars, essentially saying she wasn’t invited anyway. Meanwhile, Pinkett-Smith’s partial shave is due to the fact that she is struggling with Alopecia – a condition that causes hair loss – which she has made public before.
According to Smith, Denzel Washington pulled him aside after the incident and told him that “at your highest point, beware that’s when the devil comes looking for you.”
Smith tried to take note of the situation in his acceptance speech.
“Richard Williams was a fierce protector of his family,” he said, slowly holding back his tears. “In this moment in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling me to do and be in this world. […] I am being called in my life to love people. And to protect everyone. And to become a river for my people. I know to do what we do, you must be able to be abused. You have to let people talk about you like crazy. You must have people who don’t respect you. You have to smile and pretend it’s okay. “
Smith has officially settled the case. “I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all the nominees. This is a beautiful moment. I don’t cry because I won the award. It’s not about winning, it’s about being able to shine for everyone. ” He continued by thanking Venus and Serena Williams, and many of the cast and crew King Richard.
King Richard marks the third time Smith has been nominated for the award. Same as the previous two times – 2001 Ali and in 2006 Pursuit of happiness – it was for the lead role in a biopic.
In this year’s Oscars, Smith beat nominees Andrew Garfield (tick, tick… BOOM!), Benedict Cumberbatch (The power of the dog), Javier Bardem (As a Ricardian), and Denzel Washington (Macbeth’s Tragedy).
King Richard Now available to stream on HBO Max.
https://www.polygon.com/22996782/will-smith-punch-chris-rock-best-actor-oscars-2022 Watch Will Smith punch Chris Rock at the Oscars, then win Best Actor