The Oscars are a slap in the face

Ryan Hill, Contributing Writer

The Oscars are, at least in principle, a glamorous and dignified night in Hollywood where the most respected and distinguished films, actors and movie workers can be honored for all of the world to view live. That, and also celebrities occasionally slap each other, apparently.

If you’ve talked to anyone at all this past week, chances are you’ve conversed about actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock. The slap came after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her baldness, relating her to the film G.I. Jane. Pinkett Smith has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to fall out. Smith, after the slap and cursing out Rock for the joke, went on to win Best Actor later that night. Now, this event’s ridiculousness has sparked a social media frenzy that has absolutely stormed the internet. Despite the amount of attention it is getting, the slap shouldn’t distract from the absolutely abysmal ceremony that took place surrounding the slap. The Oscars have lost nearly all of their dignity following this year, and should seriously seek to reevaluate how they handle themselves.

One aspect of this year’s ceremony that really fell flat in a lot of places were the new fan voted categories they created. In theory, this sounded like a good idea — highlighting films that might not have typically been nominated for the elitist gate-kept categories like Best Picture. However, it was a strange decision to include films that didn’t occur this past year. Making this a fan vote also was a recipe for disaster, which was demonstrated by the fact that “Army of the Deadwon Oscars Fan Favorite and Zack Synder’s “Justice Leaguewon the Cheer Award for the Flash entering the speed force. I think I can say pretty reasonably that these are terrible representations of what a “fan pick” might be, and clearly was misrepresented due to the poor voting system they had in place for the categories. From a night of historic wins with Ariana DeBose being the first queer woman of color to win an acting Oscar, and Troy Kotsur becoming the first deaf man to win an acting Oscar, it was extremely disappointing to see other categories like the Fan Favorites and how they were represented.

On top of the awards themselves, the comedy from the hosts and presenters did not land very well. Whether it was Regina Hall doing a five minute long joke about “COVID testing” attractive men in the audience which was in poor taste, or when the presenters for best animated feature made a mockery of the whole medium by reducing it as being “made for kids.” Of course, the audience as a whole continued to push on and laugh and cheer for every Hollywood elite that stepped on that stage, even after some of these elites assaulted another on stage.

The slap itself seems very representative of what the Oscars had to offer this year. No matter whose side you may be on or what you feel about the backlash, there’s no denying that something or someone is in the wrong. That sounds like a summary of the Oscars 2022 to me. Of course it’s hard to be surprised, but it’s also easy to be disappointed. This past year had so many great films that deserved to be celebrated and cherished, but instead the only thing any of us will be able to think about is the absurdity of the slap. The Oscars have been and continue to remain pointless to me as a viewer, and clearly they are meant to be that way.

The best thing to do at this point is just move past it, and enjoy the movies that you enjoy, and celebrate those who helped to make it. And keep that award show’s name out of your f*cking mouth!

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