Will Smith Wins First Oscar for King Richard After Awkward Chris Rock Confrontation

On Sunday, March 27, 2022, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences acknowledged some of the best actors in the industry with the Academy Awards. The nominees included Will Smith for King RichardAndrew Garfield for tick, tick … BOOM!Javier Bardem for Being the RicardosBenedict Cumberbatch for The Power of the Dogand Denzel Washington for The Power of the Dog. But it’s the Oscars, not a self-love reality show, and not everyone can win — so taking home the Oscar for Best Actor was Smith for playing Richard Williams in King Richard.

King Richard premiered at the 48th Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2021, and was theatrically released a couple of months later by Warner Bros. Pictures and on the HBO Max streaming service. It opened to rave reviews and was named one of the best films of 2021 by the American Film Institute and the National Board of Review. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and written by Zach Baylin, King Richard follows the life of Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, who serve as executive producers of the film. Williams coached his daughters in tennis. Also starring in King RichardAunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn, and Jon Bernthal.


The film was nominated for six Oscars at the 94th Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. It also earned seven nominations at the 53rd NAACP Image Awards, six nominations at the 27th Critics’ Choice Awards, and four nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards.

Smith shined in the title role. “King Richard demonstrates that Black fathers are neither negative nor absent figures in the lives of their offspring. It also shows how Black men indeed support the goals of their children, making it a point to aid them in crafting their skills, “MovieWeb’s Latecia Joiner argues.

Related: Will Smith Slaps and Screams at Chris Rock After Jada Joke at the Oscars

Will Smith Allegedly Hit Chris Rock

Will Smith
Warner Bros.

Allegedly during the Academy Awards telecast, Chris Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, that he did not like. During his presentation, Rock joked, “Sure, I love you, GI Jane 2, can not wait to see it. “The joke did not go well with the actress, who has been open about her struggles with an autoimmune disorder, alopecia, which leads to hair loss. Seeing that his wife was uncomfortable, Smith walked toward the stage and seemingly slapped Rock.

Smith then took his seat and appeared to be shouting at Rock. The verbal part of the conversation was muted for viewers at home. Uncensored footage of the incident has since been shared on social media from the Australian broadcast. It reveals Smith to be saying, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f ** king mouth!”

However, viewers on the American broadcast could hear Rock again when he said, “That was the greatest night in the history of television.” But it was not until the next award presenter arrived that things calmed down, Sean “Diddy” Combs took the stage, and he told Rock and Smith to settle things “like a family” later.


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