Will Smith Apologized For The Chris Rock Incident In His Oscars Acceptance Speech
"Love will make you do crazy things."
All eyes were on Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars. The actor stole the show after presenter Chris Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Furious, Smith took to the stage to apparently slap Rock on live TV. His show-stealing didn’t stop there, though. Toward the end of the night, he won the highly coveted Best Actor award for his lead role in King Richard, and Smith’s 2022 Oscars acceptance speech included an apology that referenced the apparent slap heard ‘round the world. (Elite Daily reached out to both Smith and Rock’s teams for comment on the situation, but did not hear back by the time of publication.)
Smith came into the night as the heavily favored choice to win Best Actor, so even though it was no surprise when he won the trophy, everyone was on the edge of their seats to see what he’d say about the altercation. He began by noting how his role as the aggressively protective father Richard Williams paralleled his real life
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith began. “In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.”
“Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis, who is one of the strongest most delicate people I’ve ever met,” Smith said. “I got to protect Saniyya [Sidney] and Demi [Singleton], the two actresses that played Venus and Serena. I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. 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. In this business you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you, and you gotta smile and pretend that’s OK.”
Smith continued by sharing some very on point advice given to him by fellow nominee Denzel Washington, and went on to offer an apology, although no mention of Rock’s name was made. “Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, ‘At your highest moment, be careful: That’s when the devil comes for you.’ It’s like, I wanna be a vessel for love,” Smith said. “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees... Art imitates life — I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
Smith concluded his speech with a few thank-yous, and a joke about potentially not being invited back for future ceremonies. “Thank you for this honor. Thank you for this moment. Thank you on behalf of Richard and Oracene [Price] and the entire Richards family. I hope the Academy invites me back, thank you.”
For its part, the Academy released a statement following the award show’s live broadcast, noting it does not condone violence.
Oscars fans will have to wait to get some clarification about Smith and Rock’s apparent altercation. But one thing’s for sure: This moment will go down in awards show history.
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