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Oscars 2022: Will Smith wins Best Actor after Chris Rock altercation

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ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

After a shocking altercation with Chris Rock live on the Oscars stage earlier in the night, Will Smith took home the Oscar for Best Actor.

The 53-year-old actor won for his role in King Richard and very quickly after getting on stage became emotional with tears streaming down his face. 

After a brief point about his character, which is based on tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams’ father Richard, being a “fierce defender,” he began reflecting on where he is at this point in his life. 

“I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people,” he shared. “I know to do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy to you… you got to be able to have people disrespecting you and you got to smile, you got to pretend like that’s okay.”

Denzel [Washington] said a few minutes ago, ‘At your highest moment, Be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you,'” he added. 

His words seemed to reference the earlier incident, where he slapped and cursed out Rock for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith

Smith continued his acceptance speech and apologized to the Academy and explained the reasoning behind his emotions, stating, “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.” 

“Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said, just like they said about Richard Williams but love will make you do crazy things,” he added.

Noticeably, his speech did not include an apology to Rock. 

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