What Happened to Will Smith? Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock During His Oscars Acceptance
The 2022 Academy Awards were a complicated night for Will Smith. During his lead role as Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams, he won his first Academy Award. The bulk of Smith’s speech focused on the unscripted and unsettling moment in which he slapped Rock earlier in the evening. The comedian told a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Smith took offense.
During his speech, he said, “Love makes you do crazy things.” Then he compared himself to Richard Williams, saying, “Love makes you do crazy things.”
He made several jokes about the crowd of actors before presenting the Best Documentary Oscar. He expressed interest in seeing Pinkett-Smith in the G.I. Jane sequel. At the Academy Awards, Pinkett-Smith wore a buzz cut and spoke openly about struggling with alopecia. Pinkett-Smith rolled her eyes at the joke.
The standup comic, despite initially pretending to laugh, was eventually hit by Smith. Rock told Smith twice to keep the name of his wife out of his mouth.
After winning the Best Actor Oscar, Smith wept and compared himself to Richard Williams, whose overprotective behavior was often derided in the press. “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. 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,” Smith said.
“I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people. And to be a river to my people. And I know to do what we do, you’ve got to be able to take abuse, and you’ve got be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you’ve got to be able to have people disrespecting you and you’ve got to smile and pretend like that’s okay.”
Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock
Will Smith was called out by Denzel Washington at that point in the speech. The commercial break after the slap was when Washington comforted Smith.
“Denzel said to be a few minutes ago, at your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you,” Smith said. “I want to be a vessel for love.”
Afterward, the director thanked Serena and Venus Williams, as well as the cast and crew. The director apologized to all those in attendance for his behavior.
“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he said.
“Just like they said, I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things,” he said.
“knitting crew,” and he thanked his wife. “I’m taking up too much time. Thank you for this honor. And thank you for this moment. Thank you,” he concluded. “I hope the Academy invites me back.”