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Will Smith Wins Best Actor Oscar And Gives Emotional Speech Following Chris Rock Outburst

by : Cameron Frew on :
Will Smith Wins Best Actor Oscar And Gives Emotional Speech Following Chris Rock Outburst
Will Smith Wins Best Actor Oscar And Gives Emotional Speech Following Chris Rock Outburst (Credit: ABC)

Will Smith gave an emotional acceptance speech after winning his first-ever Best Actor Oscar following his altercation with Chris Rock.

Smith won his first-ever Academy Award at tonight's ceremony for his performance in King Richard, beating Benedict Cumberbatch for The Power of the Dog, Andrew Garfield for Tick, Tick... Boom, Denzel Washington for The Tragedy of Macbeth and Javier Bardem for Being the Ricardos.

Earlier in the show, Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. At first, the actor seemed to laugh it off, but he then took to the stage and smacked the comedian, before telling him to keep her name 'out of his f***ing mouth'.

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At the start of his speech, he cited Richard Williams – the father of Venus and Serena Williams – as being a 'fierce defender of his family'.

He said: "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, we’ve gotta be able to take abuse. You’ve gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you’ve gotta be able to have people disrespecting you.

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“You’ve gotta smile and pretend that that’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, that’s when the devil comes for you’.

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"I want to apologise to the Academy. I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees.

"This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine light on all the people, Tim [White, producer], Trevor [White, producer], Zach [Baylin, writer], Saniyya [Sidney, who plays Venus], and Demi [Singleton, who plays Serena] and Aunjanue [Ellis, who plays Oracene Price] of King Richard and Serena, the entire Williams family.

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"Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, 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.

"Being able to love and care for my mother and my family, my wife... I’m taking up too much time. Thank you for this honour. Thank you for this moment. Thank you on behalf of Richard, Oracene, the entire Williams family.

"Hopefully the Academy invites me back," he joked before leaving the stage.

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Film & TV, Will Smith, Oscars, Film and TV, Entertainment