Will Smith: He accepts first prize after Oscar slap

Will Smith
He accepts first prize after Oscar slap

Antoine Fuqua (left) and Will Smith at the AAFCA Awards.

© Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Will Smith has personally accepted an award for the first time about a year after the scandalous Oscar slap in the face.

Will Smith (54) has been honored with the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) Beacon Award. It is the first prize that the Hollywood star has personally accepted after last year’s Oscar scandal. Director Antoine Fuqua (57) also received the award. A few days ago, Will Smith was honored as best actor at the NAACP Image Awards, but he wasn’t there in person.

The industry magazine “The Hollywood Reporter” has one Excerpt from Smith’s acceptance speech published. For him personally, “Emancipation” was the “most difficult film of my entire career,” said the actor. “It’s really difficult to put a modern mind into that time period. It’s difficult to imagine that level of inhumanity.”

The Apple TV+ film tells the story of escaped slave Peter (Smith) in 19th-century Louisiana. “Emancipation” is inspired by photographs of “Whipped Peter” – specifically a photograph published in 1863 showing the escaped slave’s back scarred by whipping. The distribution of the image made the US public aware of the brutality of slavery.

What happened at the Oscars?

Smith entered the stage at the Academy Awards in March 2022 during the show and slapped comedian Chris Rock (58) in front of the cameras. He had previously made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith (51), the actor’s wife. Shortly after the incident, Smith won Best Actor for his role in King Richard. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences later banned Smith from all events, including the Academy Awards, for the next ten years.


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