In addition to his acting career, Willard Carroll Smith II is also known as The Fresh Prince, which is his rap moniker. His diverse roles have earned him multiple awards, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and four Grammys. His filmography includes movies like Men in Black and Suicide Squad, along with dramas like Seven Pounds, The Pursuit of Happiness, and I Am Legend. His unstoppable power on the big screen has resulted in some of his upcoming movies being delayed due to his behavior at the 2022 Oscars. The criticism he received after the incident left the actor in pain, although Smith took home the Oscar for his performance in King Richard the same night the incident happened.

Will Smith Returns to the Stage for the First Time After the Chris Rock Controversy

Will Smith
Will Smith

While the actor has lately dominated the media for all the wrong reasons, it appears that Will Smith is finally making a comeback at this year’s award season festivities, which were held Wednesday evening. The actor took the stage to accept the Beacon Award at the African American Film Critics Association Awards 2023, and it seems like the entertainment industry is opening its arms to embrace the actor once again. His fans are undoubtedly just as thrilled about his victory.

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Chris Rock and Will Smith Oscar 2022
Chris Rock and Will Smith Oscar 2022

Antoine Fuqua, who directed the film Emancipation, and Smith, accepted the award together. Fuqua started his award acceptance speech by outlining the importance of the accomplishment. The Beacon Award, according to him, “is meant to reward movies that confront difficult themes with insight, enlightenment, and audience engagement.” He said,

“It was our dream that Emancipation would be able to bring Peter’s inspiring tale, his strong faith, and his intense love for his family to life.”

Before handing the mic to the night’s winner, Fuqua continued by thanking Apple, the AAFCA, and the actors and crew of the movie.

Also Read: While Will Smith Attempts To Save His Hollywood Career After The Oscar Slap Controversy, Chris Rock Plans To Break Silence About The Humiliating Incident In Netflix Special

Hollywood legend Will Smith’s award speech at AAFCA 2023

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Will Smith

Following the film’s director’s minute-long speech, Smith took the podium to discuss the film’s production. The actor opened his statement by saying,

“Emancipation was the most personally challenging film of my whole career. Transporting modern thinking to that era is incredibly challenging. It’s challenging to fathom that degree of inhumanity.”

He continued talking about his experience portraying Peter in the titular movie. The Men in Black actor then told how, while filming a dramatic scene, he was spat on by a white co-star, a scene from the movie, and how that experience changed his perception of the injustice of the slavery era.

“The temperature was 110 degrees on the second day of the shoot,” Smith recalls. He went on, “I was in a scene with one of the white actors, and we had our lines, and the actor decided to ad-lib. So, we’re doing the scene. I did my line. He did his line. And then he ad-libbed and spit in the middle of my chest. If I had pearls on, I definitely would’ve clutched them. I wanted to say, Antoineeeee, but I stopped, and I realized that Peter couldn’t have called the director.”

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Smith concluded his speech by expressing gratitude to the audience and to the AAFCA. The After Earth star was surrounded by photographers before approaching the stage. Additionally, Will Smith won the best actor award for his depiction of Peter at the NAACP Image Awards, but he was notably absent from the ceremony.

Source: Variety

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