Will Smith Attends First In-Person Awards Show After Oscar Slap
Men in Black star Will Smith accepted the beacon award at the African American Film Critics Association Awards for his work on the film “Emancipation.”
That Wednesday evening event marks the first awards show he attended in person after the “Oscar Slap” incident.
Smith accepted the award alongside director Antoine Fuqua and explained its significance. “The Beacon Award is intended to highlight films that are tackling challenging subjects,” he said.
More details about Will Smith’s latest award
Will Smith Accepts Special Honor at AAFCA Ceremony, First In-Person Awards Speech Since 2022 Oscars https://t.co/XuUX1QNDcx
— Variety (@Variety) March 2, 2023
His AAFCA appearance comes a year after he slapped Chris Rock over a joke he made about his wife during the 94th Academy Awards.
Later, he returned on stage to accept his Oscars award for best actor and delivered a moving speech about the importance of protecting one’s family.
Afterward, Smith received a 10-year ban from all Academy events. Still, the I am Legend star did not mention the Oscars incident during the AAFCA awards night.
Instead, he kept his remarks light-hearted, eliciting laughter from the audience. Will Smith played a runaway slave named Peter in the movie “Emancipation.”
It was his first movie role since the Oscar Slap incident. More importantly, it seems the movie struck Will Smith more deeply and emotionally.
He explained in his acceptance speech, “Emancipation was the most individual 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, that level of inhumanity.”
Then, he proceeded to recall a moment when a white co-star spontaneously spat on him while filming “Emancipation.”
“It was the second day of shooting and 110 degrees,” Will Smith said. “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. He did his line. And then he ad-libbed and spit in the middle of my chest.”
“So we do take two. I do my line. He does his line and spits in the middle of my chest again… and 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.”