Academy Awards

Will Smith Tearfully Apologizes to Academy in Best Actor Win Speech: ‘Love Will Make You Do Crazy Things'

The actor noted that Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams he portrayed in his award-winning role, was also fiercely protective of his family

ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The Fresh Prince became a king and finally won his first Oscar — but in a more dramatic moment than imagined.

Will Smith took home his first Academy Award on Sunday night for playing Richard Williams — father and tennis mentor to Venus and Serena Williams — in “King Richard.”

Smith spoke shortly after a shocking onstage confrontation with comedian Chris Rock, who made a crack at his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. Smith noted, in tears, that Richard Williams was also fiercely protective of his family. “I want to be a vessel for love,” he said.

He also apologized to the academy and his fellow nominees. “This is a beautiful moment,” he said. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father. But love will make you do crazy things.”

The Academy Awards posted a brief statement on Twitter after the ceremony saying it "does not condone violence of any form," though without mentioning any specifics around the incident.

The win comes for his third nomination. He was previously nominated for “Ali” in 2002 and “The Pursuit of Happyness” in 2007.

Smith beat out fellow nominees Javier Bardem, Andrew Garfield, Benedict Cumberbatch and Denzel Washington, who trumped Smith for the 2002 best actor Oscar with his win for “Training Day.”

For full coverage of the 2022 Academy Awards, click here.

Will Smith confronted actor and comedian Chris Rock on stage after comedian made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, at the 94th Annual Academy Awards.
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