Oscars 2022: The Fresh Prints of Bel Air

One of our newest AAs, Paige gives us her lowdown on this year’s very controversial Oscars! 

It was the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday and, well, it was a memorable one to say the least…

These Oscars we’re supposed to be the high point in Will Smith’s career, winning his FIRST Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. However, his performance on the stage on Sunday night outshone his Oscar winning moment.

The already infamous, iconic slap has caused a lot of controversy online, as well as turned into many, many memes on social media. And of course, you already know what we’re talking about; when Will Smith marched up on stage and slapped Chris Rock round the face and shouted, “keep my wife’s name out your *** mouth”, for his ill-mannered and very offensive joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The GI Jane joke was in reference to Jada’s bald haircut that was a result from her alopecia illness.

Will Smith is getting slammed on the internet for his act of violence at the Academy Awards whilst Chris Rock is being praised for the way he handled the situation, with support from fellow celebs such as Jim Carrey and Amy Schummer, (not to mention his tour ticket sales have spiked). It is also noteworthy that Will seemed to laugh at the joke until he saw Jada’s face. Take that how you will.

Two wrongs don’t make a right and violence is never the answer, buuut, after the low blow from Chris Rock, was Will just defending his wife? This could turn into a whole other blog post on where comedians should draw the line with their comedy (blog post pending…).

Later on in the evening, when Will should have been giving a speech about how far he has come in his career and what the award for Best Actor means to him, he was instead giving a teary apology to the Academy for his earlier actions (though an apology to Chris Rock was not heard in the speech). He was also missing from the iconic Academy Award photo with the four big winners.

Wow, well the Will Smith drama certainly took up a lot of this blog post but it’s important to highlight the more impactful, meaningful and historical events that also happened at the Oscars the other night.

Troy Kotsur is the first deaf man to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in CODA. Ariana DeBose became the first openly queer woman of colour to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in West Side Story. And, Jane Champion won the award for Best Director for The Power of the Dog, becoming the third woman in history to win the award and first woman nominated twice in that category. Congrats to them all?

When I volunteered to write a blog post on the Oscars a few weeks back, I was not expecting to be writing about this…

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