(Update 1:18 p.m.: TMZ is reporting the pair have not spoken since the incident at Oscars 2022, and The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences just condemned Smith’s actions and announced a “formal review” of the incident.)
(Update 5:05 p.m.: Will Smith has publicly apologized to Rock via his Instagram. Read what he had to say here.)
Yes, Will Smith’s shocking smack (and smack-talk) at Chris Rock on the Oscars 2022 telecast has kind of overshadowed everything else, but we shouldn’t let it. Today, media should be celebrating the diversity of the Oscars winners list last night instead of arguing about who was right or wrong in that moment. Ariana DeBose won for West Side Story, making her the first openly queer Afro-Latina to win an Oscar; Troy Kotsur won for CODA, the first deaf man to do so for acting; Jessica Chastain won for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, playing an admittedly complex woman wh0 advocated for gay equality (the film was produced by World of Wonder, the LGBTQ-driven production company behind RuPaul’s Drag Race). Jane Campion won for The Power of the Dog, a film about toxic masculinity and homosexual repression.
The female hosts Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes kept things running smoothly, before and after the altercation. Beyoncé and Billie Eilish dazzled. CODA became the first streamed film to win Best Picture and Encanto won for animated feature; both are movies about being different and overcoming challenges and both celebrate music as a way we can find common ground. Same goes for Summer of Soul, even though Questlove’s moment was diminished by what happened right before his name was called.
Of course, common ground is the last thing anyone is seeing in their social media feeds today. But last night shouldn’t be about being “Team Rock” or “Team Smith.” Whatever our personal opinions about tasteless jokes or reactions to them, or self-congratulatory awards shows in general, it’s about the films. Despite a rough past couple years for the movie industry thanks to the pandemic, last night showed that the art can still be powerful and inspiring, and it is getting more inclusive. Especially after the #oscarsowhite boycott of 2016 (which the Smiths were a part of), it’s important to put personal feelings aside and focus on this progress. Congrats to all the winners, including our cover story Q&A subject Jenny Beavan, who won for her gorgeous costuming on Cruella.
Click the hyperlinks to read our critics’ reviews of the winning films. The Academy’s tweet about the incident is below.
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Will Smith, King Richard
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“No Time to Die,” No Time to Die
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Zsuzsanna Sipos and Patrice Vermette, Dune
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Hans Zimmer, Dune
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Sian Heder, CODA
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Jenny Beavan, Cruella
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT
The Long Goodbye
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
Drive My Car (Japan)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Troy Kotsur, CODA
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
The Windshield Wiper
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
The Queen of Basketball
Greig Fraser, Dune
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
The Academy does not condone violence of any form.
Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
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