Famed actor Will Smith has received the Beacon Award from the African American Film Critics Association, marking his first public recognition since he slapped presenter Chris Rock a year ago at the Oscars ceremony. Smith has been recognized for his work on the film “Into Freedom,” which tells the true story of a black slave who managed to escape and join the Union army during the American Civil War. The film was produced by Apple and directed by Antoine Fuqua, with a budget of $130 million.
Although there have been divisions of opinion on the issue of Chris Rock’s slapping, it seems that part of the film industry has begun to forgive Will Smith. Although he was banned from the Motion Picture Academy for a 10-year period and several films he was shooting were put on hold, Smith has attempted to apologize several times, including on YouTube.
In his Beacon Award acceptance speech, Smith did not mention the slapping incident and focused on his work on the film “Into Freedom,” describing it as the most difficult film of his life. He also had words of thanks for Apple, noting their commitment to the film’s story despite budget changes.
While there has been speculation that “Into Freedom” might have been considered for the Oscars, its recognition at the African American Film Critics Association ceremony proves that the film has left a lasting impression on the film industry.
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