Will Smith Wins Best Actor at BET Awards for ‘King Richard’, Three Months After Oscars Slap


Will Smith won another Best Actor award for his role as Richard Williams in ‘King Richard’ – this time, at the BET Awards. Last night’s win didn’t generate as much spectacle as Smith’s Oscar win, as he kept a low profile and didn’t attend the BET Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

In March, Smith attended the Oscars with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and took the stage, unannounced, and slapped Chris Rock, after the comedian made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s hair. Minutes later, Smith returned to the stage – this time, guest starring as the Best Actor Oscar winner.

The BET Award for Best Actor was one of many awards that weren’t featured on air. Smith was up against two stars of “Bel Air” – Jabari Banks and Adrian Holmes – which is a remake of his 1990s TV show, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Banks plays the character of Will Smith; Holmes plays this character’s uncle, Philip Banks.

Smith also faced Anthony Anderson for “Black-ish”, Damson Idris for “Snowfall”, Denzel Washington for “The Tragedy of MacBeth”, Sterling K. Brown for “This is Us” and Forest Whitaker, who was nominated for at both “Respect” and “Godfather of Harlem”.

The BET ceremony included awards for television, music and film, as well as several performances. Smith hasn’t posted about his win on social media — he hasn’t posted since the Oscars incident, either.

Following the slap, Smith released a statement on Instagram: “Violence in all its forms is toxic and destructive,” Smith wrote. He said his behavior at the Oscars “was unacceptable and inexcusable” and apologized to Rock.

Actor Will Smith slaps comedian Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on March 27, 2022.

ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Smith faced the repercussions of the slap: the Academy banned it for 10 years. And while the Los Angeles Police Department was ready to quit He, Rock was “dismissive” of the idea and decided not to press charges, award show producer Will Packer told ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”

Smith has not been in the spotlight since, but Pinkett Smith addressed the incident on his Facebook Watch show “Red Table Talk”.

“My deepest hope is that these two smart and capable men will have the opportunity to heal, to talk about it and to reconcile the state of the world today. We need them both, and we have we all need each other more than ever. Until then, Will and I will continue to do what we’ve done for the past 28 years. And that’s continue to understand what we call life together.” she declared.

Smith’s “King Richard” co-stars Mikayla Bartholomew and Saniyya Sidney spoke to Entertainment Tonight on the BET Awards red carpet. “Every time I talk to [Smith]he always says it’s all about divine splendor, you know, so he’s good,” Bartholomew told ET’s Kevin Frazier. “It’s always good to chat with him.”

“Our film was very special to us,” said Sidney, who played Venus Williams in the film. “Venus and Serena [Williams] changed the lives of so many women, our lives.”


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