The April 2022 Oscars came after one of Hollywood’s toughest times, but it was still the most expensive party in the world, costing an estimated $42.9 million. When you spend that kind of money on a party and invite only a select few of Hollywood’s richest and finest to attend, a brawl is the last thing you expect on stage.
Oscar parties don’t always go according to plan, as Will Smith proved when he decided to give Chris Rock a sore jaw for a joke about his wife Jada’s hair loss which is caused by a medical condition. To be honest, most of us thought he was just going to have a chat with the comedian, but the slap sent a stronger message, not that we support that type of behaviour. It will take decades for us to forget about that smack, just like these ten ugly incidences that are yet to be forgotten.
The Moonlight Saga
Moonlight won the award for the best picture in 2017, but that award came at the expense of embarrassed La La Land producers, who had been mistakenly named the winners. The confusion was caused by a mix-up of envelopes backstage, which led to Warren Beaty being handed La La Land as the winner. The producers of La La Land were given the tough job of handing over the award to their Moonlight counterparts in what went down as one of the most embarrassing mix-ups in Oscars history. La La Land was still a great film, and it more than deserved a spot at the top as well.
Sean Penn’s Terrible Green Card Joke
If Chris Rock’s sore jaw proved anything, jokes don’t always go down well at the Oscars, and this one made by Sean Penn on Alejandro Inarritu in 2015 was one of them. The Mexican director had won the award for the best motion picture. When Sean Penn saw his name on the envelope, he said,” Who gave this son of b*tch his green card.” There was immediate outrage at the joke, with most people in the audience gasping at what everyone dabbed an outright racist remark.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Fake Fall
Din Lawrence fake her fall, or was it caused by her voluminous Oscar dress? That is the question that everyone has been asking since she tripped and fell on the staircase while approaching the podium to get her award for best actress. She won the award for her role as Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook, but her victory has been stained over the years as more people, including stars like Anderson Cooper, publicly called her out for faking a fall. The fall got her a standing ovation, to which she replied, “You guys are just standing because you feel bad that I fell.”
Julia Roberts Turning Off The Clock
Will Smith had to use his acceptance speech to apologize to the Academy for slapping Chris Rock ten minutes earlier. Still, his speech didn’t evoke as much emotion as Julia Roberts’ acceptance speech in 2001. “Turn that clock off, it’s making me nervous,” Julia said minutes after asking the orchestra conductor to sit down and not shut her speech down with his stick.
Julia said it was important that she say everything she had to say in the speech because she might never be on that stage again, and she sure hasn’t won an Oscar 20 years later. She took four minutes presenting the speech that should have lasted 45 seconds thanking everyone she knew except Erin Brockovich, the real-life hero whose character won Roberts the award.
Marlon Brando Rejects The Award
Marlon Brando remains the GOAT when it comes to the best actors of the 20th century, and his win at the 1973 Oscars for his performance in The Godfather was never in question. It was his second Academy award which would have been great for him, but he used it to give one of the greatest protests in American history. Knowing he would win the award, Brando nominated Sacheen Littlefeather to accept the award in his place. For most of the egocentric stars, including John Wayne, an unknown Indian girl dressed in Native American attire coming to the stage to tell them that Brando was rejecting the award was an insult.
Six guards had to hold John Wayne back from throwing Littlefeather off the stage as she said Brando had refused the award because of how the film industry treated Native Americans. This remains the most popular Oscar protest of all time as it opened the whole country to the misery of Native Americans, including the horrible crackdown by the FBI on Native Americans at Wounded Knee. The protest created some villains, too, including John Wayne, who never recovered from the backlash to his reaction.
Adrien Brody Kissing Halle Berry
Sexual harassment is the last prosecution you expect to bring against the winner of the Academy Award unless you were Halle Berry in 2003. The incident happened just a year after Halle Berry became the first African American woman to win the Academy Award for best actress for her role in Monster’s Ball.
She was tasked with awarding Brody his Oscar for the best actor in 2003 for The Pianist when the star grabbed Berry and kissed her passionately right there on the stage. Berry exclaimed,” What the f**k is going on right now,” after the kiss. She later said in an interview that she understood the intensity of the moment after winning the award the years before and, therefore, just went with the flow of the moment.
Roman Polanski Winning His Award While On The Run
The Academy has been blamed for years for overlooking the worst crimes committed by some of the biggest names in the industry, and this was one of them. He was awarded the best director for The Pianist, The same film Adrien Brody won the award for “Polanski” had already been convicted of rape and sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and was hiding from the US authorities in France. The Academy was condemned for awarding a condemned sexual predator who couldn’t even walk onto the stage to pick the award because of his crimes. He was stripped of all his accolades and removed as a member of the Academy in 2018 after years of condemnation.
The All-White Oscars
Racism in the film industry is not a strange thing. Some stars even recently condemned some of the biggest film production companies of tokenism, whereby only including one or two actors of colour in their sets to avoid criticism and make money from it without giving all actors equal opportunity. One of the people that led the protest against all white actors being nominated for the Oscars was Jada Pinkett-Smith, who led the boycott of the 2016 Oscars by all actors of colour, saying,” begging for acknowledgement diminishes dignity.” It came after the Academy nominated all Caucasian stars for both the 2014 and 2015 Oscars. The protest has paid off since the Oscars have been all-inclusive since then and a person of colour has never been missed off the list of winners since.
Joaquin Phoenix VS The Dairy Industry
People use the Oscars to protest ills in society, but Joaquin Phoenix took it to a whole new level in 2020. His win came at a time when the whole world was struggling with the pandemic, and the last thing on everyone’s mind was the sins of the dairy industry. “I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world,” he said.
He condemned everyone for fighting for racial equality, gender equality, and every other form of injustice but forgetting the worst of them all, which is humanity feeling like we have the right to dominate other species. He complained about the dairy industry turning animals into milk-producing machines by inseminating them and then stealing their babies without listening to their cries just to steal their milk and sell it to the rest of us. It was so deep and emotional that the audience was baffled.
The Streaker On Stage
You ask anyone that saw the 1974 Oscars on TV, and they will tell you that the naked man on stage behind the host David Niven is their favourite moment of the Oscars’ history. It was another form of extreme activism, this time in support of the LGBTQ community by the gay rights activist Robert Opel. He walked onto the stage behind the Niven just before he called a winner stealing the moment as the audience totally forgot about the winners.