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The Slap Seen ‘Round the World’ and Other Oscar Oddities

The Oscars are an annual experience during which the best of the film industry get glammed up and brought together to celebrate the achievements of their peers. Viewers also come together, connected by their shared love of film and the anticipation as they excitedly watch their favorite film or actor win the gold-plated statue. Despite the upscale nature of the ceremony, there have been instances where attendees have gone wild.

At this year’s ceremony on Mar. 27, comedian Chris Rock was presenting the award for “Best Documentary Feature” when he cracked a joke comparing Jada Pinket-Smith to G.I. Jane because of her new bald hair style. Unimpressed, Will Smith went up to the stage and smacked Rock straight in the face and then yelled at him from his seat: “Get my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”  Now, why would Smith be upset about the joke? Smith was upset because Jada has openly shared her struggles with Alopecia, a medical condition that leads to hair loss. Later in the night however, Smith won his first Oscar for his role in “King Richard.” The incident has unsurprisingly gone viral and led to various memes and internet jokes. Smith has gotten backlash for attacking Rock on stage and The Academy even considered removing Smith from the premises, a close source told CNN. 

Will Smith and Chris Rock aren’t the first ones to create a stir in Oscar history. Here are some other moments from the last ten years that have caused a stir in the media.

2020: Nobody had a clue why Eminem was performing at the awards or why he was even there to begin with. He proceeded to perform his 2002 Oscar-winning song “Lose Yourself” and received mixed reactions from the crowd. Billie Eilish and Martin Scorcese looked bored while Gal Gadot was dancing along.

– 2017: This was just plain cruel. Actors Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced “La La Land” as “Best Picture.” Fans of the movie had to cut their celebration short since the wrong envelope was handed out and it was announced that “Moonlight” was the true winner of the award. 

– 2014: There are two moments from this ceremony that fit the criteria. Host Ellen Degeneres ordered pizza for the entire audience and also took a now infamous selfie with various actors. John Travolta famously butchered nominee Idina Menzel’s name as “Adele Dazeem” and memes have spawned as a result. – 2013: The fall of Jennifer Lawrence while on her way to accept her award can be seen as a shocking moment, but it is relatively tame compared to the other talked-about moments of the show. Host Seth MacFarlane used almost his entire screen time with an elaborate song and dance about the actresses he has seen topless on film, which would be a more appropriate choice at a cabaret show than a high profile award ceremony.

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