acknowledgment at an awards show since slapping Chris Rock

onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards.

Will Smith returned to the awards season circuit on Wednesday

to accept

the Beacon Award

at the African American Film Critics

Association Awards

After slapping Chris Rock

on stage at the 2022 Academy Awards

the speech marked the Oscar winner's first

personal acknowledgment at an awards show

He accepted the award with his Liberation

Director Antoine Fouqua

who began the acceptance speech explaining

the significance of the award

The Beacon Award aims to highlight films that address challenging topics insightful

enlightening, as well as engaging audiences

he said. "It was our hope that Salvation would be able to bring

to life Peter's triumphant story

and unwavering faith and his deep love for his family