CHICAGO – Usually these Oscar summaries are ordinary. But in a shocking event at the 94th Academy Awards, eventual Best Actor winner Will Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Oh, and by the way, CODA wins Best Picture in a historic honor.
Chris Rock’s joke referenced Jada’s hairline…apparently he didn’t know she was diagnosed with alopecia, which includes hair loss. He asked, referring to her bare scalp, if she should star in GI JOAN 2 (Editor’s note: I thought she had been a young recruit in GI JOAN the original). Will Smith objected to the remark, took the stage and slapped Rock. the ABC–TV the stream beeped, but the international streams caught Rock reacting, saying, “Will Smith just kicked the shit out of me.” Smith, not finished, shouted from his seat “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.” Rock finally said, “I’ll do it.” He then gave the Oscar for BETTER DOCUMENTARY (“Summer of Soul (…Or when the revolution couldn’t be televised)”).
The slap seen around the world
Photo credit: ABC–TV
Besides the BETTER PICTURE win for CODA – a feel-good film featuring hearing and deaf actors – and BETTER ACTOR Will Smith for “King Richard”, Jessica Chastain brought home BETTER ACTRESS for “The eyes of Tammy Faye”. Jane Campion received the third Oscar in history for female filmmakers, winning BETTER DIRECTOR for “The Power of the Dog”.
Ariana DeBose proved her triple threat credibility and won BETTER PROOF ACTRESS for “West Side Story” (a repeat of Rita Moreno’s win for the same role/category 60 years earlier). And in arguably the most moving speech of the night, Troy Kotsur won BETTER PROOF ACTOR playing a deaf dad in “CODA(he is hard of hearing in real life). His sign language speech included an elegy to his father and acknowledgment that the award was dedicated to the disability community. “Dune” won six awards, for BETTER ORIGINAL SCORE, EDITING, VISUAL EFFECTS, PRODUCTION PATTERN, CINEMATOGRAPHY and HIS.
But it will be The Slap that will be remembered the most.
Full list of winners…
Jessica Chastain THE THE EYES OF TAMMY faye
Will Smith KING RICHARD
BETTER PROOF ACTRESS
Ariana DeBose WEST SIDE NARRATIVE
BETTER PROOF ACTOR
Troy Kotsur CODA
Jeanne Campion THE POWER OF THE DOG
CODA is the best picture at the 94th Academy Awards
Photo credit: Apple TV+
CODA screenplay by Siân Heder
BELFAST by Kenneth Branagh
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
SUMMER OF SOUL (… OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD DO NOT BE TELEVISED)”, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
CONDUCT MY SELF (Japan)
“No Time to Die” from NOPE WEATHER FOR TO DIE music/lyrics by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
DUNE Hans Zimmer
THE WINDSHIELD WIPER Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez
INHABIT STOCK SHORT
THE LONG GOODBYE Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed
THE QUEEN OF BASKETBALL Ben Proudfoot
DUNE Joe Walker
DUNE Greig Fraser
RECONCILE AND HAIR STYLING
THE THE EYES OF TAMMY faye
CRUEL Jenny Beavan