The 2022 Oscars

A Slapping Return


Marko Barrera, Student Life Editor

   As the annual Academy Awards made its return to the Dolby Theater, movie lovers united together for the 94th Oscars.

   Trophy-wise, the night was a big success for the movie Dune, as the movie itself won six awards: Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Sound, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing. Jessica Chastain won her first Academy Award for her leading role in the movie The Eyes of Tammy Faye, of course portraying the famous Tammy Faye in this production depicting Tammy Jim Bakker’s rise and fall in the broadcasting industry. 

   As for the male counterpart award, this year it went to Will Smith for his role as Richard Williams in King Richard. This was his first Best Actor award and he expressed tears of joy during his speech. His words were filled with emotion as he spoke his mind on protecting family and how love can make one do crazy things, similar to his character in the movie. 

   His victory came soon after the highlight (or lowlight, depending on what you’ve seen or heard) of the night. After a break, Chris Rock appeared on stage with his microphone. He continued to make a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s new haircut, comparing her to G.I. Jane, as they both wore similar buzz cuts. Her husband, Will Smith, heard this joke, stormed onto the stage and looked to slap the comedian. He walked back to his seat and the audio feed cut out as Will Smith appeared to have screamed at Chris, saying “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!” For the viewers, the channel ABC had to bleep this out. In response, Chris Rock stood there, surprised as many viewers were, and said “That was, uh, greatest night in the history of television,” according to some reporters on the scene. During his award acceptance speech, Will Smith did not take the chance to apologize, either. 

   This occurrence caused speculation as to whether or not the slap was genuine or not. The slap indeed looked real, but after people found photos taken of different angles of the slap, Chris Rock appeared to be wearing a patch on the cheek that Will hit, as if it was planned. Weeks later, The Academy announced that Will Smith is banned from any events or meetings concerning the Academy for ten years. This solidified the truth that Will Smith’s actions were true.

   Besides this incident, the rest of the show felt good for viewers, as things are finally getting back to how they used to be. After the 2022 Academy Awards, movie lovers don’t know what to expect from next year’s, but they’re definitely ready for a ‘slap’ of great movies next year.