Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » Lifestyle » The Will Smith-Chris Rock debacle, and five other strange moments from the Oscars

94th Academy Awards

The Will Smith-Chris Rock debacle, and five other strange moments from the Oscars

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock may be news of the show, but past ceremonies have also had their share of bizarre incidents

Upasya Bhowal | Published 28.03.22, 06:42 PM
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock during the Oscars

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock during the Oscars

The Academy

Monday blues might have become a staple in our lives, but the 94th Academy Awards took it upon itself to spice up our mundane morning with a dash of drama. After all, it is not everyday that someone gets slapped on stage at the biggest awards show in the world. 

But this is exactly what happened when Will Smith stomped on stage at the Oscars and smacked presenter Chris Rock after the former cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s cropped hair. Rock, who was presenting ‘The Best Documentary’ award, compared Pinkett Smith’s hair to that of Demi Moore’s in G.I. Jane, suggesting Pinkett appear in a sequel to the 1997 film. In the moments that followed, Will Smith is seen walking up to the comedian, slapping him and walking back to his seat. He then shouts at the comedian to keep his wife’s name “out of his f******* mouth”, forcing producers to bleep out a few seconds of audio from the live broadcast. 

Will Smith later went on to win the ‘Best Actor’ award for his role as the father of tennis duo Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard. In an emotional acceptance speech, the actor apologised for his actions, before going on to say, “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things.”

And while the internet is split over whether the scene was staged or not, My Kolkata went down memory lane and discovered that the Oscars have a bit of a penchant for such “crazy things”. 

Here’s a quick rundown of some other bizarre and dramatic moments from previous Oscars… 

The one with all the joy and jumping

From emotional to inspiring, we’ve seen many kinds of acceptance speeches at the Oscars over the years. As joyous as they are, none of them quite had the mad rush of blood to the head as Roberto Benigni did. 

At the 1999 Oscars, when Life is Beautiful won the award for the Best Foreign Language Film, Benigni, sprung up from his seat in elation and ended up walking on the backrests of the seats at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion! Amidst roaring applause, he made his way to the stage, where he delivered a slightly confusing, albeit passionate speech, going on to say, “...I want to kiss everybody because you are the image of joy and he who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in eternity sunrise…” 

And while we are still trying to understand what exactly he meant, we’ll have to give him full points for his surprise and boundless joy. 

The one with the swan and her eggs

Over the years, the Academy Awards have witnessed some of the most bold and outrageous fashion choices. And while all of them are memorable, this one takes the cake. 

Icelandic singer Björk stunned everyone at the 2001 Oscars when she flaunted a swan dress at the awards ceremony. A crystal body stocking, with a puff of white tulle and a slender swan neck that wrapped around her own, the dress made quite the statement. However, the crowd went into a tizzy when she chose to accessorise her dress with eggs that she “laid” on the carpet! 

While the outfit received a fair bit of criticism, we’d say that when it comes to fashion choices, Björk clearly had ‘egg’-cellent taste. 

The one with the awkward kiss

At the 2003 Oscars, Adrien Brody made the headlines for this uncomfortable move. 

The actor, who was being presented with the Best Actor award for his role in The Pianist, left spectators stunned when he embraced presenter Halle Berry, and then, instead of letting go, leaned her back for a passionate and dramatic kiss! In a later interview, Berry pointed out she was caught completely off-guard, as opposed to rumours floating that the move had been pre-planned. 

Brody evidently forgot to take notes on consent for this one.

The one with the tripping (quite literally!)

Just like we regular folk end up forgetting basic human actions when we’re very nervous, Jennifer Lawrence too did something similar when she ended up tripping on the stairs on the way to collect her first Best Actress Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook. But the actress took it in her stride. On receiving a standing ovation for her award, she said, “You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell. That's really embarrassing.”

Kudos to J-Law for handling the moment with such grace! [We know we couldn’t have.] 

The one where they announced the wrong winner

Very rarely does it happen that an incorrect announcement is made about the most-anticipated category of an awards show. But if it’s the Oscars, nothing is impossible. 

In this fiasco from 2017, presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty accidentally announced that La La Land had won the Best Picture award before the movie’s producer Jordan Horowitz corrected the mistake and pointed out that it was in fact Moonlight that had won the Oscar. 

Last updated on 28.03.22, 06:52 PM

More from My Kolkata