Why Some People Think Will Smith's Oscars Acceptance Speech May Have Ruined His Legacy

Twitter went wild about Will Smith's violent outburst towards Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars ceremony. However, the night's surprises were still far from over. Smith's category for Best Actor in a film was announced after the unprecedented slap, and Smith won his first-ever Academy Award.  

But fans all over the world were still digesting the altercation between the actor and the comedian. One Twitter user wrote, "Will Smith laughed at the joke before playing offended," questioning the authenticity in the actor's outraged response.

Some users were saying that the encounter increased their respect for Chris Rock, who has even landed himself in hot water in the last few years for divisive jokes. One wrote, "Comedians always take jabs at actors on the Oscars! I've lost all respect for Will Smith and am surprised how well Chris Rock kept his composure after being assaulted."

Needless to say, there was a great deal of pressure on Smith to deliver a speech that took responsibility for his actions. However, that is not what the collective Twitter community feels happened and they are calling the actor out for his unjustifiable behavior.

Will Smith didn't take accountability for his actions

Will Smith began his Best Actor acceptance speech by vaguely acknowledging what had occurred during the ceremony. He said, "Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family." The crowd reacted with cheers and gasps, as they realized the double meaning behind Smith's words in the context of his violent outburst toward Chris Rock. He went on to say that he "got to protect" his "King Richard" co-star Aunjanue Ellis, calling her "one of the strongest, most delicate people I've ever met." He also mentioned protecting the young actresses who played the legendary Williams sisters in the film.

Smith then seemed to call out Chris Rock's joke, bringing up the criticism he's faced in the industry: "In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you. And you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that's okay." But, clearly, Smith was at the end of his rope with the public scrutiny surrounding his family.

Though some news outlets are reporting that Will Smith's speech included an apology for his actions, Twitter users disagreed. One wrote, "All the media outlets tweeting about Will Smith apologizing in his acceptance speech were clearly watching a different award ceremony." This Twitter user pointed out what the rest of the internet seemed to be thinking, "Smith's tearful speech did not include an apology to Chris Rock. He even doubled down on his behavior calling it protecting 'family.'" In actuality, Smith said, "I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees." He even went on to justify his actions, saying, "love will make you do crazy things."