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Will Smith Tearfully Apologizes After His Physical Altercation With Chris Rock During The 2022 Oscars

'I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees...'
will smith apology best actor speech oscars 2022
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/NEILSON BARNARD
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Will Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor for his amazing performance in King Richard and was able to address his unexpected altercation with Chris Rock during his acceptance speech.

While not all of Will's speech focused on what happened between him and Chris, he did make an oblique reference to it at the beginning, saying, "Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family" to mumbles and a few cheers from the crowd. He tearfully continued, "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, you gotta be able to take abuse, you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you, and you have to smile and pretend like that’s okay."

Will went on to say, "I want to apologize to the Academy; I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I'm not, I'm not crying for winning an award. It's not about winning an award for me, it's about being able to shine a light on all of the people."

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He ended his speech thanking the cast and crew of King Richard, the Williams family, and his own family, saying, "I hope the Academy invites me back; thank you."

will smith best actor speech oscars 2022
GETTY IMAGES/ROBYN BECK

In case you missed the shocking moment, Will walked on stage and seemingly slapped Chris after he made a joke comparing Will's wife Jada Pinkett Smith to G.I. Jane, which was highly inappropriate since Jada has been open about her hair loss journey due to alopecia.

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After slapping Chris, Will walked back to his seat and seemingly said "keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth," though the moment was censored by ABC's live broadcast. During the commercial break after the incident, Will was seen speaking to both his PR representative and Denzel Washington. At this point, neither Jada nor Chris have spoken out publicly about what happened.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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