Oscars 2022: Emotional Will Smith Apologizes After Chris Rock Altercation

Will Smith won Best Actor at the 2022 Oscars and got emotional during his acceptance speech, where he apologized for slapping Chris Rock earlier during the show. All the details.

By Brett Malec Mar 28, 2022 3:30 AMTags

Will Smith is finally an Oscar winner.

The King Richard star won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for portraying Venus and Serena Williams' father during tonight's 2022 Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 27.

Smith was nominated against an impressive list of talents including Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick...Boom!) and Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth).

Smith got emotional during his acceptance speech and apologized after he shocked audiences and viewers by slapping Chris Rock for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith earlier during the show.

"I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees," Smith said with tears in his eyes. "This is a beautiful moment and I'm not crying for winning an award, it's not about winning an award for me."

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"Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father," he added, as some in the audience laughed. "Love will make you do crazy things."

He said, "I know to be able to do what we do you gotta be able to take abuse, you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you gotta have people disrespecting you and you gotta pretend that that's OK...Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, 'At your highest moment, be careful, that's when the devil comes for you.'

"I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena and the entire Williams family for entrusting me with your story. That's what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of care and love and concern."


Continuing to relate to his King Richard character, Smith said, "Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world. Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis who is one the most strongest, most delicate people I've ever met. I got to protect Saniyya and Demi, the two actresses that play Venus and Serena...I'm being called on in my life to love people and to protect people."

Smith concluded, "I wanna be a vessel of love. I wanna say thank you to Venus and Serena, I just hope they didn't see that on TV."

See the full list of 2022 Oscar winners below.

Best Picture



Don't Look Up

Drive My Car


Licorice Pizza

King Richard

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story


Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car

Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

WINNER: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick...Boom!

WINNER: Will Smith, King Richard

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Actor in a Supporting Role

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

WINNER: Troy Kotsur, Coda

Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog

J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Actress in a Leading Role

WINNER: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Actress in a Supporting Role

Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter

WINNER: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Judi Dench, Belfast

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Animated Feature Film

WINNER: Encanto



The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Raya and the Last Dragon


WINNER: Greig Fraser, Dune

Dan Laustsen, Nightmare Alley

Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog

Bruno Delbonnel, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Janusz Kaminski, West Side Story

Costume Design

WINNER: Jenny Beavan, Cruella

Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran, Cyrano

Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan, Dune

Luis Sequeira, Nightmare Alley

Paul Tazewell, West Side Story

Documentary Feature




WINNER: Summer of Soul (...Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Writing With Fire

Documentary Short Subject


Lead Me Home

WINNER: The Queen of Basketball

Three Songs for Benazir

When We Were Bullies


Don't Look Up


King Richard

The Power of the Dog

Tick, Tick...Boom!

International Feature Film

WINNER: Drive My Car


The Hand of God

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

The Worst Person in the World

Makeup and Hairstyling

Coming 2 America



WINNER: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci

Original Song

"Be Alive," King Richard

"Dos Oruguitas," Encanto

"Down to Joy," Belfast

WINNER: "No Time to Die," No Time to Die

"Somehow You Do," Four Good Days

Original Score

Nicholas Britell, Don't Look Up

WINNER: Hans Zimmer, Dune

Germaine Franco, Encanto

Alberto Iglesias, Parallel Mothers

Jonny Greenwood, The Power of the Dog

Production Design


Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Animated Short Film

Affairs of the Art



Robin Robin

WINNER: The Windshield Wiper

Live Action Short Film

Ala Kachuu-Take and Run

The Dress

WINNER: The Long Goodbye

On My Mind

Please Hold


Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather, Niv Adiri, Belfast 

WINNER: Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hempbill, Ron Bartlett, Dune

Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey, Mark Taylor, No Time to Die

Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie, Tara Webb, The Power of the Dog

Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson, Shawn Murphy, West Side Story

Visual Effects


Free Guy

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Adapted Screenplay


Drive My Car


The Lost Daughter

The Power of the Dog

Original Screenplay

WINNER: Belfast

Don't Look Up

King Richard 

Licorice Pizza

The Worst Person in the World

The 2024 Academy Awards air live Sunday, March 10, from 7 to 10:30 p.m. ET/4 to 7:30 p.m. PT on ABC.