2022 Oscars Rundown

From Chris Rock getting slapped to a tastelessly upbeat In Memoriam, the Oscars seemingly faltered at every step.

Chris Charpentier, Staff Writer

To say that this year’s Oscars ceremony was eventful would be a massive understatement. Lucky for the Academy Awards, there was a 56% increase in ratings this year at 15.4 million viewers, rising from last year’s record low to be the second-least viewed Oscars. Unfortunately, the show meant to celebrate great films made over the past year succumbed to tasteless jokes punching down artists and a myriad of drama that sought to overshadow the awards.

DOOMED FROM THE START

After a performance by Beyoncé, the three main hosts, Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes gave their opening monologue, moments before they were interrupted by DJ Khaled, with his signature overbearing personality. Once the monologue began, the hosts delivered lackluster jokes on the omission of some of the awards from the live broadcast, Samuel Jackson not doing rom-coms or musicals and how the Oscars will have a “gay” night in regards to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

After this, the Supporting Actress award went to Ariana Debose for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” which marks her as the second Latina to win an acting Oscar and the first openly queer woman of color to win in the category. However, this historic Oscar win was quickly undermined when Hall walked on stage to make a joke about taking some of the celebrities backstage to “inspect them for COVID.” This was an attempt to make a joke about sexual assault—a move all the more questionable considering the ceremony’s history of awarding abusers like Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen and Roman Polanski.

EMBARRASSING FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED

The night only worsened as it continued, as for every historic moment like Troy Kotsur’s beautiful acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor, there are five embarrassing moments similar to Megan Thee Stallion rapping a verse about being at the Oscars during the performance of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” Any real recognition and celebration given to any of the winners was wiped away by the unusually upbeat In Memoriam performance and the 50th anniversary Godfather tribute that awkwardly included hip-hop and trap music.

The event was epitomized in a viral moment, during which Will Smith came up on stage and slapped Chris Rock after he made a joke regarding Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair loss condition. Although the sound was muted quickly for American audiences, an uncensored video posted to YouTube showed Smith shouting profanities at Rock.

Smith won the award for Best Actor, Jessica Chastain won Best Actress and “Coda” won Best Picture. The Oscars was a lackluster exhibition of the show’s true nature–recognizing preeminent work by filmmakers. Instead, this year was filled with unsuccessful comedic bits and interruptions that disrespected artists, as well as celebrity drama that overshadowed the importance of honoring the finest creativity.

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