Don’t mention that slap! Why no one was talking about Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars afterparty

Monday - 28/03/2022 21:55
Everyone from Larry David to Lady Gaga dodged questions or hid behind their PRs. If only their goodie bags had included a few opinions …
Everyone from Larry David to Lady Gaga dodged questions or hid behind their PRs. If only their goodie bags had included a few opinions …
Everyone from Larry David to Lady Gaga dodged questions or hid behind their PRs. If only their goodie bags had included a few opinions …

So that was Oscars 2022, or, as the Academy possibly refers to it: “The Oscars where absolutely nothing strange happened, and how was the play, Mrs Lincoln?” Apparently some broadcasters bleeped out the Slap Heard Around the World. Well, if it’s any consolation, TV viewers, even inside the Dolby Theater it wasn’t much clearer what the hell had happened, mainly because of the Oscars’ discombobulating determination to carry on – with the palpably strained smile of a Ziegfeld girl who has fallen down and broken her leg in several places, but is determined to get to the end of routine with a grin, dammit.

So, everyone acted as if everything was totally normal, with Chris Rock having to present an award 10 seconds after Will Smith slapped him on stage. It was the weirdest instance of gaslighting I had ever experienced – until half an hour later, when Smith won the best actor Oscar, and implied in his speech that his attack was all part of God’s plan and he had merely been “protecting” his family. Shame he didn’t bother to tell Rock what God’s plan had been about how to protect his face.

It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for the Academy: it spends decades trying to find ways to make the Oscars interesting, only for them to become interesting in a way it really didn’t want them to be. The Oscars’ producer, Will Packer, had decided the right way to make the Oscars interesting was to cut some of the technical awards from the live TV broadcast in the hope it would stop people from going on too much about politics. Turns out he could have let all those sound and editing folks have their moment on TV after all. “Too many awards” was never going to be the takeaway of the night.

Even before the ceremony, this Oscars was shaping up to be the most ridiculous yet, thanks to celebrities who continue to prove that Team America underplayed its satire. One of this year’s hosts, Amy Schumer, announced that she was fighting the bravest battle currently being waged in the west: trying to get more political content into the Oscars. And to this end, she wanted to give a boost to the latest sexy starlet, the content-provider everyone’s talking about, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine.

 

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Author: Editors Desk

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