Oscar-winning documentary maker Joseph Patel has said Will Smith and Chris Rock "stained" the 94th Academy Awards while double Oscar winner, director Pedro Almodovar, described Smith's Best Actor acceptance speech as "more like that of a cult leader".

Summer Of Soul won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 94th Academy Awards. It was produced by The Roots drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson alongside Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein.

The award was presented to the team by Rock, moments after he was slapped by Smith for a joke about the actor's wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

But Patel said the behaviour of both men had "stained what should have been a beautiful moment for us."

"What I didn’t hear in that moment walking to stage but was told of afterwards is what Chris Rock said when reading our name from the winner’s card," he wrote in a Twitter thread - which has since been deleted.

Joseph Patel, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, David Dinerstein and Robert Fyvolent, winners of the Oscar for Documentary Feature for Summer of Soul

"The winner is 'Summer of Soul… Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and… 4 white guys.’ WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F***?????"

He explained: "The reason that makes me SO SO VERY ANGRY is because I was so proud to be one of a handful of South Asians to have ever won an Oscar in the history of the award.

"I was ecstatic that I was the 3RD South Asian to win that night – after Riz and Aneil Karia won earlier in the night for The Long Goodbye.

"3 South Asians winning on the same night – that’s never happened before! And it’s meaningful! It’s history!

"I’m a big boy – I can take a joke. Comedians make jokes. But not in that moment. What a disrespectful thing to do.

"So I’m angry. Angry at Will Smith. Angry at Chris Rock. Angry for me. Angry for Ahmir. Angry for my fellow filmmakers."

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Meanwhile, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar said he refused to let the altercation between Smith and comedian Chris Rock be "the protagonist of the evening" and that it had produced in him "a feeling of absolute rejection".

Almodovar’s film Parallel Mothers earned its star Penelope Cruz a Best Actress nomination.

Describing his experience of the night he said he had been sitting "barely four metres" from the incident, in which Smith took to the stage and hit Rock over a joke at the expense of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

"I have deliberately avoided the violent episode that is the only thing talked about the next day. I was barely four metres from where it happened," he wrote.

"I refuse to let that episode mark the gala and be the protagonist of a ceremony where many more things happened and of much greater interest.

Pedro Almodóvar attends the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2022

"Still, as I said, I was very close to the protagonists. What I saw and heard produced a feeling of absolute rejection in me."

"Not only during the episode, but afterward, too, in the acceptance speech — a speech that seemed more like that of a cult leader."

Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role playing the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard.

In his tearful speech, Smith apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees, and spoke of the importance of protecting family.

He said fellow best actor nominee Denzel Washington had minutes before told him "at your highest moment be careful, because that’s when the devil comes for you".

Will Smith accepts the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for King Richard

"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," wrote Almodovar.

"The devil, in fact, doesn’t exist. This was a fundamentalist speech that we should neither hear nor see."

Almodovar has previously won Oscars for Best Foreign Language film in 1999, and Best Original Screenplay for Talk To Her in 2002.

Source: Press Association

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