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Serena Williams Forgives Her ‘King Richard’ Film Father Will Smith For That Infamous Oscars Slap

By Bruce Haring,


Tennis star Serena Williams is not about to double-fault on Will Smith ’s Oscars slap.

Speaking to Gayle King on CBS Mornings , she talked about King Richard , the biopic where Smith played her father and won a Best Actor award moments after shocking the world by slapping host Chris Rock and cursing him.

Surprisingly, Williams – who was known for a sometimes volatile temper on the courts – called for compassion and understanding about Smith’s actions.

“I thought it was such an incredible film, and I feel that there was an incredible film (honored) after that with Questlove that kind of was overshadowed,” Williams told King. She was referring to the Summer of Soul , which won Questlove a Best Documentary award.

“I also feel that I’ve been in a position where I’ve been under a lot of pressure and made a tremendous amount of mistakes,” Williams said. “I’m the kind of person that’s like, I’ve been there, I’ve made a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. We’re all imperfect and we’re all human, and let’s just be kind to each other. And I think that’s often forgotten a lot.”

Williams was in attendance at the Oscars with her sister, Venus Williams, to witness Smith’s moment, an action that still reverberates a year later. Smith is banned from the Oscars and its events for the next decade, and he and Rock have not publicly talked about the incident. Smith has claimed he has reached out, but been rebuffed by Rock.

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