Will Smith broke down in tears during his Oscars acceptance speech after meeting Chris Rock on stage.
In what has been dubbed the “most insane moment” in Oscars history, the actor took to the stage to smack Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith received the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard.
The actor went on to deliver a lengthy, tearful speech addressing the recent onstage incident.
He praised Richard Williams – the father of Venus and Serena Williams, whom he portrays in the film – as “a fierce defender of his family”.
“I am called in my life to love and protect people and to be a flow for my people,” Smith said.
He continued, “I know in order to do what we do, we have to be able to take abuse. You have to be able to get people talking crazy about you. In this business you have to be able to be disrespected by people.
“You have to smile and pretend it’s okay. But Richard Williams and what I love – what Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago – ‘In your highest moments be careful, then the devil will come for you.’
Washington, Bradley Cooper and Tyler Perry appeared to comfort Smith after the incident unfolded, with the actor revealing what Washington told him during his winning speech.
Regarding the incident, Smith – who grew increasingly angry during the speech – said: “I would like to apologize to the Academy. I would like to apologize to all my fellow candidates.
“This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for a price. I don’t care about winning a prize. It’s about being able to shed light on everyone, Tim [White, producer]trevor [White, producer]Zach [Baylin, writer]saniya [Sidney, who plays Venus]and Demi [Singleton, who plays Serena] and Aunjanue [Ellis, who plays Oracene Price] from King Richard and Serena, the entire Williams family.
“Art imitates life. I look like the crazy dad just like they said. I look like the crazy dad, just like they said about Richard Williams, but love will make you do crazy things.”
After the incident, a joke Rock made about Pinkett Smith at the 2016 Oscars resurfaced online.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/will-smith-chris-rock-acceptance-speech-b2045355.html Will Smith cries during Oscars acceptance speech, referring to Chris Rock incident