Pedro Almodóvar Says Will Smith's Oscars Acceptance Speech 'Seemed More Like That of a Cult Leader'

"What I saw and heard produced a feeling of absolute rejection in me," Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar said

Pedro Almodóvar is taking issue with Will Smith's acceptance speech at the 2022 Academy Awards.

The Spanish film director, 72, wrote an awards-week diary for IndieWire, in which addressed the altercation between Will, 53, and Chris Rock, where the King Richard star struck the Saturday Night Live alum, 57, after he made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, during the awards ceremony.

Almodóvar was seated in the Dolby Theater, where the Oscars take place, during the incident. His film Parallel Mothers was nominated for two Oscars this year: Best Actress (Penélope Cruz) and Best Original Score.

"What I saw and heard produced a feeling of absolute rejection in me," wrote the Oscar winner of watching Will smack Rock in the face.

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Will later went on to accept the Best Actor award in the ceremony. Almodóvar described his speech as one "that seemed more like that of a cult leader," given that Will, at one point in his speech, said: "At your highest moment, be careful. That's when the devil comes for you."

pedro Almodovar, will smith
Amy Sussman/Getty; David Livingston/Getty

That line, as Will shared in his speech, was told to him by Denzel Washington minutes before his win.

"You don't defend or protect the family with your fists, and no, the devil doesn't take advantage of key moments to do his work," Almodóvar wrote in response. "The devil, in fact, doesn't exist. This was a fundamentalist speech that we should neither hear nor see."

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While presenting on Sunday, Rock took a moment to crack a few jokes, including one about Jada's shaved head. The comedian compared her appearance to that of Demi Moore's look in G.I. Jane.

Jada, 50, who recently opened up about living with alopecia, was captured visibly unamused by cameras, rolling her eyes from her seat. Seconds later, Will walked onstage and approached Rock, smacking him in front of the audience and millions watching the telecast at home.

Back at his table, Will shouted to a stunned Rock: "Keep my wife's name out of your f-----g mouth." Smith remained seated with his wife at his table for the rest of the night. Rock declined to press charges.

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Chris Rock and Will Smith at the Oscars on March 27, 2022. Robyn Beck/getty

Will later acknowledged the moment in his acceptance speech after winning Best Actor for his performance as Venus and Serena Williams' father Richard Williams in King Richard.

"In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world," he said through tears. "I'm being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people."

"I know to do what we do you gotta be able to take abuse; you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you, and you gotta smile and pretend like that's okay."

RELATED VIDEO: Richard Williams Says He Doesn't 'Condone' Hitting After Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock at Oscars

Will also compared himself to his King Richard character as a "fierce defender of his family."

The actor then addressed the incident directly, offering an apology to the Academy and his fellow nominees for the incident — but failed to mention Rock.

"I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees," he said.

Will, who was previously nominated for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness, then noted, "Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things."

He later added, "Being able to love and care for my mother and my family, my wife ... Thank you for this honor. Thank you for this moment. ... I hope the Academy invites me back."

Will has since apologized to Rock, writing in a lengthy Instagram post on Monday, "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong."

"I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness," he added.

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