Will Smith wins BET Award, three months after Oscars slap
Will Smith has won another Best Actor award for his role as Richard Williams in “King Richard” – this time, at the BET Awards. Last night’s win did not generate as much of a spectacle as Smith’s Oscar award, as he has been keeping a low profile and did not attend the BET Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
In March, Smith attended the Oscars with wife Jada Pinkett Smith and got up on the stage, unannounced, and slapped Chris Rock, after the comedian made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s hair. Minutes later, Smith got up on stage again – this time, invited as the winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor.
The BET Award for Best Actor was one of several awards that were not presented on air. Smith was up against two stars of “Bel Air” – Jabari Banks and Adrian Holmes – which is a remake of his TV show from the 1990s, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Banks plays the Will Smith character; Holmes plays that character’s uncle, Philip Banks.
Smith was also up against 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 both “Respect” and “Godfather of Harlem.”
The BET ceremony included awards for TV, music and film, as well as several performances. Smith did not post about his win on social media – nor has he posted since the incident at the Oscars.
Following the slap, Smith posted a statement on Instagram: “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote. He said his behavior at the Academy Awards “was unacceptable and inexcusable” and apologized to Rock.
Smith faced repercussions for the slap: the Academy banned him for 10 years. And while the Los Angeles Police Department was prepared to arrest him, Rock was “dismissive” of the idea and decided not to press charges, Will Packer, a producer for the awards show, told ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
Smith hasn’t been in the spotlight since, but Pinkett Smith did address the incident on her Facebook Watch show “Red Table Talk.”
“My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile the state of the world today. We need them both, and we all actually need one another more than ever. Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years. And that’s keep figuring out this thing called life together,” she said.
Smith’s “King Richard” co-stars, Mikayla Bartholomew and Saniyya Sidney, spoke to Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet at the BET Awards. “Every time I talk to [Smith], he always says everything is in divine splendor, ya 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 so many women’s lives, our lives.”