Smith hailed as 'diversity champion' at MTV awards
Published 11/04/2016 | 02:30
Will Smith was hailed as a "champion for diversity" as he was honoured at the MTV Movie Awards.
The actor received the Generation Award recognising his film career after starring in blockbusters ranging from 'Independence Day' and 'Men In Black' to Muhammad Ali biopic 'Ali' and 'I Am Legend'.
'Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens' was named movie of the year, while the film's British star Daisy Ridley was awarded the 'Golden Popcorn' statuette for a breakthrough performance for her role as Rey.
Smith, who was joined at the ceremony in Los Angeles by sons Trey and Jaden, joked that he thought his honour was "code for the old-ass dude award".
"This is absolutely beautiful," he said. "I released my first record when I was 17. I'm 47 years old now. This June marks 30 years in this business.
"I'm dedicated to being a light in this world."
Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, who presented Smith with his award, said: "Will is a champion for diversity in Hollywood, blazing a path for actors by showing that someone of any colour can play any role, and can open any movie and win any award and be the biggest freaking movie star in the whole world."
Melissa McCarthy became the first woman to receive the Comedic Genius award, while 'Straight Outta Compton', which told the story of gangsta rap pioneers NWA, won the True Story Award.
Pitch Perfect 2 stars Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine shared a passionate moment on stage after winning the Best Kiss award. The pair locked lips and rolled around on the stage floor, recreating their movie romance.
Chris Pratt received the award for best action performance for his role in 'Jurassic World', and thanked a long list of Hollywood action heroes including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Liam Neeson and David Hasselhoff. Charlize Theron won best female performance for her role in 'Mad Max: Fury Road', while Amy Poehler won best virtual performance for her role as Joy in the Pixar film 'Inside Out'.