Unless you live under a rock (no pun intended) you have seen the clip from Sunday’s Oscars Awards show where a joke made by Chris Rock resulted in a violent slap from best actor nominee, later winner, Will Smith.
The joke was made at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada, and referenced her going bald. The baldness was a result of a condition called “Alopecia”. After Smith heard the joke, he laughed at first, but then stood up, walked on stage, and slapped the comedian.
Once he stepped down from the stage, he could be heard screaming “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth,” in a very angry fashion.
I am not here to argue whether or not the joke was too offensive, and I am not here to even argue whether or not the slap was warranted. What I am here to talk about was that it was interesting.
I used to be an avid watcher of the Oscars. There was something about the live performances and jokes that inspired excitement, while also congratulating that year’s best films.
After the Kevin Hart debacle of a few years ago, I have been left with a deep-rooted disinterest in the Oscars. Not for a lack of interest in the movies, but if I am going to watch a show that is hours long, I want it to at least be interesting.
And oh boy, do I wish that I had been watching on Sunday night live.
Sunday night offered something that the Oscars has been missing, and could honestly really benefit from, and that is drama.
Award shows are and always have been stuffy environments where the pretentious Hollywood elite try their best to look and act as refined as possible. They are in essence, a massive joke.
Imagine if the entire night was based around the dramatic moments and leaned into the immaturity that is obviously apparent in the top-rated actors. Imagine if the entire show was shot like an episode of American Idol, or went with a gritty reality television show style.
The intrigue and interest in watching the entire award show would be so heightened, as people would invest in the stars as the producers incite an absurd level of heightened anticipation and shock.
The Oscars ceremony on Sunday gave us a taste of the melodrama that can be played out at an award show, and we should want more.
Header Photo: Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello/Associated Press)
Write to Maxwell Mayleben at Maxwell.Mayleben@mnsu.edu