Oscar ratings have been falling for the past few years, but there was an incident at the 2022 ceremony that dramatically increased attention to the ceremony. It’s not every day you see one famous actor slap another in the face – and even live on the stage of the main event in American cinema. Will Smith made history – and this is on the day of his triumph.
After that, the broadcast ratings skyrocketed.
Comedian and actor Chris Rock (Saw: Helix, Dogma, Madagascar) spoke ahead of the announcement of the winner for Best Documentary. The Rock called Jada Pinkett Smith “Soldier Jane”, alluding to the fact that she walks around with a shaved head, like the heroine of the 90s movie of the same name, played by Demi Moore. Pinkett Smith, by the way, is known not only as the wife of Will Smith. Her main career role is Niobe in The Matrix trilogy. And initially she could play Trinity, but with Keanu they had no chemistry at all.
But for Jada, this is not an image, but a necessary measure – she announced a year ago that she was suffering from alopecia (the scientific name for baldness), which is why she had to shave her head.
Will Smith did not like the joke, he went on stage and hit Rock hard in the face with his palm – he swayed. And then Smith yelled in the comedian’s ear, “Don’t mention my wife’s name with your damn mouth!”
The audience in the hall did not even understand at first and thought that this was a comedy sketch.
Smith Apologizes to Academy, Supported by Denzel Washington
Smith, after several nominations, accepted the award for the best actor and, in tears, delivered a very touching speech. Chris Rock was not mentioned in it.
“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to the other nominees. This is an amazing moment, and I’m not crying because of the award. It is not important that I won this award specifically. It is important that all those involved receive their share of attention. And Tim (producer Tim White), and Trevor (producer Trevor White), and Zach (screenwriter Zach Bailin), and Saniyya (Saniya Sidney, who played Venus Williams), and Demi (Demi Singleton, who played Serena Williams), and Aunjanue (Aunjanue Ellis, who played Brandi Williams), and the entire cast and crew of King Richard, and Venus and Serena, and the entire Williams family.Life imitates art. I now look like a crazy dad, as Richard Williams was called.
Richard Williams was fiercely protective of his family. At this point in my life, I am overwhelmed by what God is asking me to do and be in this world. During filming, I had to protect Aunjanue Ellis, one of the strongest and most gentle people I have ever met. I had to protect Sania and Demi, two actresses who played Venus and Serena.
I was called to love and protect, to be a river for my people (Smith quotes the film “Lawrence of Arabia” – approx. Sports.ru). I know that if you do what we do, you need to be ready for insults. People will say crazy things about you. In this business, you have to put up with people who don’t respect you. And you have to smile and pretend that everything is in order.
Among those who paused to console Will Smith after the incident was his colleague Denzel Washington, who also could have received the award for best actor. Smith mentioned him in his speech.
“Thank you Dee.Denzel told me a couple of minutes ago, “At your peak, be careful – that’s when the devil comes for your soul.”
I also dedicate the victory to my mother – for me this is a very difficult moment – she did not want to shine. She’s with her knitting friends right now, they have a knitting troop in Philadelphia. I love and care so much about my mom and family… I’ve been talking for too long.
Thank you for this honor. Thanks for this moment. And thank you on behalf of Richard, Oracin, and the entire Williams family. Thanks. I hope the Academy will call me again.”
The film academy also spoke out: “We do not support violence in any form.”
But the memes did not let us down:
Stone loses to paper.
“Now every girl writes to her boyfriend: “If someone laughed at me at the Oscars, would you hit him?”
Broadcast ratings skyrocketed after the skirmish. But that doesn’t make up for the fall of recent years
The Oscars have been in crisis for a long time: the number of viewers has been falling since 2014, when 44 million people watched the ceremony. Here are the numbers from 2019 to 2021: 30, 24 and a monstrously low 10 million viewers.
Smith’s hit doubled the audience, but it’s still not even 2020’s level.
The reasons for the decline in interest in the Oscars are understandable and have been discussed more than once. More and more people are watching movies on streaming platforms (which are gradually winning back awards from “big” movies, but not so fast) and not going to theaters – and it is unlikely that the Cheats award will do anything to correct the balance. Plus, it’s still rare to find the top films of the year for viewers in the nominations – for example, this year’s “Spider-Man” grossed more than all 10 nominees for the main award combined, but it was ignored. And the format of the ceremony itself is hopelessly outdated – few people in 2022 are interested in watching people go on stage and say banal (as a rule) speeches for several hours in 2022.
What else was interesting at the Oscars
• “Dune” did not win the main prize, but received 6 statuettes – a huge success for Denis Villeneuve’s film.
• Will Smith, Jessica Chastain and Kenneth Branagh received their first career Oscars. Smith for the title role in King Richard, Chastain for the title role in The Eyes of Tammy Faye about televangelists, and Branagh for Best Original Screenplay for Belfast.
• “The Power of the Dog” was the favorite of the ceremony, but received only one prize – for director. And Jane Campion is only the third female director to win this award.
• And the comedy-drama “CODA: Child of Deaf Parents” won the best film. And this is the first ever victory of the streaming platform (Apple TV) in the main Oscar nomination.
• Billie Eilish predictably won the award for the song No Time to Die to the latest “Bond”.
• Hans Zimmer was awarded for the music for “Dune”, and he did not even come to collect the award. For Zimmer, this is only the second Oscar in 12 nominations – the first was in 1995 for The Lion King.
• The special award “Fan Favorite” did not justify itself – somehow the winner was not the most popular film of the year, but “Army of the Dead” by Zack Snyder, which even fell out of the Netflix charts long ago.