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Will Smith’s Violent Outburst Made the Oscars Impossible to Love


BILLIONThis is a time when we think no one will care about the Oscars.

Rated made a beautiful swan dive into an unrelated tropical lake. People complain about how the movies they really care about (starts with Spiderends with Man) are not nominated. Academy and manufacturers have made some decisions that angered longtime viewers of the show, like passing important categories because they don’t have celebrities involved. A tearful movie, the plot of which I can’t retell because it makes me inexplicably cry while doing so — and somehow Named the “villain” of the Oscars—Received many awards.

But then the most famous man in the world stepped out of his seat, walked onto the stage, slapped a beloved comedian and continued to scream at him from his chair.

Again, remember when we thought no one cared about the Oscars?

It’s a tragic thing, in many ways.

It doesn’t matter that, for the first time ever, a streaming service (Apple TV+), won Best Picture at the Academy Awards for CODA, a seismic take on how the industry thinks about how movies are consumed. It doesn’t matter that Netflix hasn’t broken the barrier, even though they invest heavily in filmmakers, like Jane Campion’s supposedly favorite, The power of the dog. It doesn’t matter that it’s possibly the most targeted and consequential night as Hollywood tackles — and more, represents — LGBT issues.

It was the biggest night of entertainment of my life. Because of all of that. And also because Will Smith slaps Chris Rock And after that Oscar win.

The question is: Is the Oscars good or bad? After what happened, I don’t know if you can say it one way or another.

First, there is explanation that must be made. Sunday is the Oscars ceremony. Many people, including this writer, think they won’t be found. There were categories that were moved to previews, hosts that were hired for nothing, and all sorts of indications that the people involved in producing the biggest night of the movie really didn’t like the movie at all.

What they forgot, in all of their controversial production, is that you can’t make good TVs.

Chris Rock made an unforgivably horrible joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith and then her husband, now Oscar winner Will, slapped him in the fucking face.

I guess the Oscars are good?

Will Smith did something the Oscars have reliably attempted, but in their insecurities over ratings and buzz, almost hindered themselves from doing: create a moment.

I don’t know how famous you have to be, when a comedian makes a really bad joke (to just our definition: too bad) about your wife, you ignore many transmission cameras. filming Hollywood Television’s holiest night, interrupting the live broadcast by stepping on stage, slapping someone, and then shouting from your seat, “Get my wife’s name off me your damn mouth.”

Obviously you have to have a precise level of fame to do that, and that is Will Smith’s level of fame.

Will Smith did something the Oscars have reliably attempted, but in their insecurities over ratings and buzz, almost hindered themselves from doing: create a moment. It doesn’t sound like rocket science, but it sure is: When you put the world’s most beautiful and famous people in a room together and just set up a camera, you’ll be shooting. Get the strangest, most beautiful things incomparable.

That can be a very positive thing. I do not like it Jessica Chastain ties her speech back to Tammy Faye Baker, whose legacy is… complicated. But I’m grateful that she spent so much time on stage talking about the rights of women and LGBT people at stake. Only when you’re so famous, you can own a speaker for that. (Again, thank God she did!)

It can also be a terrible thing.

Let’s be clear: An assault has occurred. At first, every aunt, college roommate, and other person I ever met asked me if Will Smith was a little angry with Chris Rock. While I’m proud that anyone thinks I have inside information, I can say unequivocally, at this point, that’s not the case.

We are programmed to present programmed that none of us know how to deal with it.

In that moment and in his speech, Will Smith revealed himself to be a very famous and very human person. I don’t condone his assault, but I understand the ethos. (Imagine any of these words ever used in connection with an Academy Award before.)

But again, I’m trying to imagine how famous and privileged you have to be, at the damn Oscars, get out of your seat, slap someone, sit down and whistle, and then won an Oscar.

It’s not a great TV. That’s the kind of TV we still don’t know how to handle.

It’s not a great TV. That’s the kind of TV we still don’t know how to handle.

As previously mentioned, there are significant changes made to tonight’s ceremony to make it a show that will interest anyone, even before Will Smith. The big, mocking question is: How do you get people to care about the Oscars without caring about the Oscars? You would think it was a question a child would laugh at for not being able to answer. But the Academy defied that. They tried. Their response: Find Tony Hawk.

God bless the producers for creating unnecessary presenter moment Hawk, Kelly Slater and Shaun White as bad as the experts predicted it would be. And also pull in manufacturers for the concept. For all mankind, Hollywood or any other country in the world, here are three films introduced in memory of James Bond.

The funny thing is, besides all that drama, is the show really… going well? Amy Schumer’s Opening Monologue was killed. It also has that Ricky Gervais-esque energy, the Hollywood twist that people don’t expect. (Who knew she would have such a hard time Being a Ricardian?) And Regina Hall proved why Regina Hall should be everywhere, in everything, in everyone’s mind.

There’s a lot of desperation, on any night that Will Smith didn’t slap Chris Rock, we’ll talk about it.

There’s been too much talk about the Academy going after viewers who wouldn’t normally watch the show. I’m guessing the mythical person they’re after is someone who’s excited to see Beyoncé dressed up as a tennis ball? That’s what opened the show. (And Bey didn’t even win! I still don’t understand the politics/legitimacy of invite Beyoncé to an award show and then don’t give it to her.)

In any case, are this year’s Oscars any good? I’m better at the other question. Is it bad? No, absolutely not. I’m obsessed with awards and can’t answer how? Well, that: It was a slap in the face.



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