Celebrity News March 02, 2023
Will Smith’s First Award-Show Appearance Since Oscars Slap
On Wednesday night, Will Smith took the stage at the African-American Film Critics Association Awards, where he was honored with the Beacon Award.
It was the first time that he’s been at an award show since last year’s Oscars, where he slapped Chris Rock.
Joined by his “Emancipation” director Antoine Fuqua, Smith told the crowd, “‘Emancipation’ was the individual most difficult film of my entire career… It’s really difficult to transport a modern mind to that time period. It’s difficult to imagine that level of inhumanity.”
In the movie, Smith took on the role of an enslaved man named Peter.
Describing a scene in which another actor spit on him, Will shared, “It was the second day of shooting and 110 degrees… I was in a scene with one of the white actors, and we had our lines, and the actor decided to ad-lib. So, we’re doing the scene. I did my line. And then he did his line. And then he ad-libbed and spit in the middle of my chest.” Making exaggerated gestures of disgust, he went on to joke, “If I had pearls on, I definitely would’ve clutched them. And I wanted to say, ‘Antoineeeeee! ‘Toine!’ but I stopped, and I realized that Peter couldn’t have called the director.”
He went on, “We did take two, and the actor felt that the ad-lib had gone well. So we do take two, and I do my line, and he does his line and spits in the middle of my chest again. And I just held in that moment, and there was a part — it makes me teary right now — there was a part of me that was grateful, right, that I got to really understand, right? And then, in the distance, I hear a voice, and Antoine says, ‘Hey, let’s do a take without the spit.’ And in that moment, I knew that God was real.”
Over the weekend, Smith won Best Actor at the NAACP Image Awards, which he did not attend.
Will’s award-show appearance comes more than a week before the Oscars, from which he has been banned for the next 10 years for slapping Rock.
Last year, Smith slapped Rock onstage over a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. Jada suffers from alopecia, but Rock reportedly didn’t know that at the time.
Will Smith Resigns Academy Membership After Slapping Chris RockView Story
A week after the incident, Smith stepped down from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
In a statement, Smith called his actions “shocking, painful and inexcusable.”
He added, “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.”
Will acknowledged that what he did overshadowed the show and its winners.
He said, “I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.”