Will Smith jokes that young kids know him as The Karate Kid’s dad

Will Smith seemed genuinely touched last night when he was presented with the Generation Award at the MTV Movie Awards. He was introduced by Queen Latifah, who credited him with her start in the business (she first guested on TV on Fresh Prince!), and Halle Berry, who looked amazing in a black lace dress with see through panels. During the lead-up you could see Will’s eyes welling up. Plus The Lonely Island did a song and dance medley of Smith’s hits and it was a blast. I found myself really enjoying The MTV Movie Awards last night. They know how to bring the party and they skew young for their audience. Will, 47, was definitely feeling his age when he accepted his award. He was there with his two sons, Jaden, 17, and Trey, 23, and during his speech he joked that he thought the award was for old dudes. He also told a story about how a little kid only recognized him once he explained that he was The Karate Kid’s dad.

When I first heard that MTV wanted to give me the Generation Award I thought that was like code for the ‘Old Ass Dude’ Award…

I was in Brooklyn the other day [shooting] and these women came running out they’re like 35, 40 years old. They’re coming and screaming and there’s this one kid, eight years old and he’s screaming ‘I don’t know who you are!’

I leaned down to him and I’m like ‘I’m the Karate Kids dad.’

‘Oh that’s Jaden’s dad!’

This is coming at the right time for me.

I don’t know if I believe that story but it was cute anyway. Will also said that he’s been in the business for 30 years since he first started when he was around 17. He ended by saying that he’s trying to “be a light in this world” while a lot of people are suffering and that he’s “dedicated to light and to love.” That’s nice, it’s like he’s trying to make sense of the world through a kind of general spiritual view rather than the not-so-secret Scientology framework that led to a really hands-off approach to parenting. I think that following the After Earth debacle and the failure of his private Scientology school he kind of realized that Scientology wasn’t working for him. He’s since sort-of acknowledged that giving his kids that much freedom may have been a mistake. Jaden is seeming less douchey by extension too, but maybe that’s just him growing up.

Here’s Queen Latifah introducing Will:

And Halle Berry! She called Will a “Champion for diversity in Hollywood” and said that he shows that “Someone of any color can play any role and can open any movie and can win any award and be the biggest freaking movie star in the whole world.” It’s true that Will is a champion for diversity, especially lately when it’s needed, but I don’t know if he can open any movie. He’s not telling little kids that he’s the dad of the boy from After Earth, you know? Still, I love Will and he deserved this. He’s had some missteps, but he’s a professional through and through.

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17 Responses to “Will Smith jokes that young kids know him as The Karate Kid’s dad”

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  1. Al says:

    “Will Smith Jokes that young kids know him as the Karate Kid’s Dad” -Literally no one. Even the kid in the story was like “oh that’s Jaden’s Dad” MACCHIO FORVEVER!!!!!!

  2. lila fowler says:

    Yeah right. No one saw that movie.

    • Mike Kelly says:

      Actually the Karate Kid made almost $400 million dollars world wide and opened at #1 in the U.S. It was probably because Jackie Chan was in it rather than Jaden Smith but it was a very big hit

  3. Alma says:

    Awww, That was nice. Love Will!

  4. Bam says:

    “Will is a champion for diversity, especially lately when it’s needed”

    More like when he didn’t get the nomination that he felt entitled to. Where was he last year when no POC were nominated?

    • gyrlbye says:

      This is such a inaccurate agmrgument. He has a history of boycotting for this very reason. Did the very same thing in the 80s when MTV wouldn’t air rap category…and he won that award. The Queen even talked about his role in propelling er career and other black actors.

      • Bam says:

        Yet he screwed everyone on Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and said “My deal is my deal and y’alls deal is y’alls deal” when they asked him to get together and ask for a raise..

  5. Jenns says:

    Cool story, Will.

  6. kri says:

    All I’m saying is …Queen Latifah-DAMN!! She looks great.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Right? I’ll always have a soft spot for Will but I’m also flying may fan girl flag for Queen Latifah.

  7. Lizzie McGuire says:

    I like the last picture with all of them, it’s really cute. Also Halle looks good, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen her in an awards show. As for the After Earth/Jaden Smith story, c’mon unless that kid had an Instagram he had no idea of Jaden’s name. I believe he probably said Karate Kid guy but he probably gets Will Smith’s kid more than he gets that.

    • FingerBinger says:

      Halle does look good. She looks better with short hair imo. The long hair doesn’t do anything for her.

  8. AlmondJoy says:

    Do any of you work with children?? My students know exactly who Jaden Smith is and associate him with Karate Kid. They have no knowledge of Macchio and Morito. The Karate Kid remake was actually very popular.

    The Queen looks amazing and Halle does too 😍 And I always love seeing Trey Smith.

    • Linn says:

      How old are you students?

      Cause karate kid came out in 2010 and I find it a bit weird that a kid who is eight today would remember a child actor who was in a movie that came out when he was two.

  9. anon says:

    What? Will, give me a break. Karate Kid made a lot of money but no one cares about that film anymore

  10. Lulu says:

    This reminds me of the story Lily Collins told in an interview, about her father telling her that he was beginning to be known as her dad, rather than she as Phil Collins’ daughter. As with Will’s story, I can’t help but feel that’s more of the parents trying to be encouraging towards their children than these nepotist wannabes coming anywhere close to that level of fame. Although, in fairness, when you’ve got such big shoes to fill, it probably feels quite frustrating to know that you’re mainly getting gigs through your parents’ connections (not that I’ll cry too much for Jaden Smith, however much he’s improved).

    On a nicer note, I thought the whole speech was very sweet, and Halle’s right in what a boon Will’s been for promoting diversity. And I had no idea about Queen Latifah. It’s funny finding out the small roles where all these big stars first began.