Serena Williams Wilson King Richard competition

Will Smith collects OSCAR for biopic tennis film King Richard after slapping presenter

Will Smith received the Best Actor OSCAR for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard, just 20 minutes after an altercation with comedian and presenter Chris Rock.

King Richard, the biopic detailing Richard Williams’ plan to write his daughters Serena and Venus into tennis’ history books, received a total of six Oscar nominations and has been met with rave reviews from both critics and general audiences alike.

In addition to Will Smith’s first ever Best Actor award, King Richard was nominated for the famed Best Picture award, as well as Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Song.

However, controversy arose from the OSCAR Awards ceremony when renowned comedian Chris Rock, who was presenting an award, made a joke regarding Jada Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia.

Despite initially laughing at the joke, after noticing his wife’s reaction to the quip Will Smith walked on to the stage and slapped Rock, much to the shock of the attendees and the rest of the world.

Smith then returned to his seat but twice bellowed “keep my wife’s name out of your f*cking mouth!”

However, just 20 minutes later Smith would again walk onto the stage, this time to accept the award for Best Actor and deliver a tearful acceptance speech, in which he apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.