Oscars Recap 2022

By Laura Crisp Davis - March 28, 2022
Oscars Recap 2022

By now I'm sure you've seen MANY posts about the 94th Academy Awards, which were...weird.

Last night was the first time in several years that I didn't live tweet, but trust me when I tell you twitter was bored, then in shock, then ON FIRE.

Why? First, a few audience favorites were snubbed, and second, there was an "incident." 

Host Chris Rock cracked an insulting joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, which triggered Will Smith to walk up onto the stage and slap Rock across the face. HARD. The in-person audience was stunned. Chris Rock was stunned but kept his composure. It was really just so shocking and stupid that I thought they planned it and maybe he didn't really hit him. 

But no, he really hit him.

I'm sure people checked on Rock's emotional and physical well-being backstage (I hope!), but that did not happen for any cameras. A couple of respected audience members tried to calm Smith and diffuse the situation as everyone tried to figure out what happened. It seemed like the audience wasn't sure if it was a joke either.

The joke WAS distasteful, and to be honest, her dress looked like a bunch of lettuce so there was a different opportunity for a less personal joke. But I'm not Chris Rock. He fills huge venues, and I...well, I don't. I have no idea if he wrote the joke or if someone wrote it for him, and we'll never know because he's a professional and he'd never throw a writer under the bus.

As for the slap, there's never a reason for assault. I cringe to think what it's going to be like in the comedy clubs now. It's already been a bit weird with audiences adjusting to being social again. My comic friends in Florida, NYC, NJ, Chicago, and LA have all reported recent issues with audience members getting too tipsy, or being a bit aggressive with the heckling. It's like during these last few years we all forgot how to behave in public. And we forgot that it's NEVER a good idea to come at the person holding the microphone.

I'm sure in the days and weeks ahead we'll get umpteen points of view on what happened, why, and who was in the wrong. 

The thing I'm still not happy about is how it was handled. Or, not handled. Will Smith still won best actor, went up and gave a big emotional thank you speech, and Chris Rock still had to fulfill his obligation to host the rest of the night. It was basically ignored. If you've ever been in a situation where you either witnessed violence or were attacked, you know it's horrible to have everyone pretend like nothing happened. That was inexcusable.

And that's why you'll also hear lots of people swear off "Hollywood" and talk about how it's just self-aggrandizing and out of touch with reality and that's true, but what's also true is there are plenty of people like me who are doing their best to make inspiring, uplifting stories. Not ALL of any career or company or culture are the same. Not all politicians are evil. Not all doctors are negligent. In fact, the opposite is true. Most people really are trying to make the world better, and the ones who aren't just happen to often be the loudest and most attention grabbing.

It's possible the Academy might try to save face by disciplining Smith or even demanding his award back. But that's not really handling what happened so much as doing damage control.

One thing I absolutely know in my bones to be true, Chris Rock will not sue him. He's a business man and he knows he can make a ton more money from a sold out comedy tour than he ever might get from a legal battle. And when those tickets go on sale, I'll be there, because you just know he's gonna tell the hilarious, self-deprecating, drama-addicted-audience-roasting truth.

Here's hoping next year the Oscars will be inspiring and nothing like this ever again.

The 94th Academy Awards took place on Sunday March 27 at 8 pm EDT/5 pm PDT on ABC.



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Sometimes I'm serious, sometimes I'm silly. Any scripts referenced are for educational purposes only. (My lawyer made me say that part.)