The Oscars: Too Much to Discuss, Good and Bad

Percy Bartelt, staff writer

This year’s Oscars were one of the most eventful in history in many ways, both good and bad. We aren’t surprised anymore after learning about one thing after another and we’re left to wonder: what didn’t happen at the 2022 Oscars?

First, as many people witnessed live, there was the slap heard ‘round the world. Chris Rock made an offensive joke on-stage about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Smith took it upon himself to publicly slap and yell at Rock. While we can laugh about the ridiculousness, it truly was an intense situation with many layers, like Jada’s chronic illness, the Smiths’ rocky marriage and the general nature of putting Black women at the brunt of offensive jokes, which Rock both argues against but does himself. I also want to state, just because I want people to know about this, Andrew Garfield was on his phone during the slap, and I just think that’s the funniest thing. However, it’s sad to say that this wasn’t the only charged event to take place on the Academy stage.

One of the 2022 Oscars’ openers was Regina Hall, a star in the “Scary Movie” film franchise, and she took it upon herself to invite Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin, two respected actors, up to the stage and and publicly pat them down as a part of her act – honestly, it made me feel uncomfortable. She even joked about giving them “COVID tests” backstage with her tongue. Despite looking incredibly uncomfortable, the two brushed it off, which just goes to show the terrible double standard when it comes to sexual harrassment against men. But, in my outlandish opinion, maybe don’t feel anyone up while being filmed in front of thousands of respected people, or in general! Hall was not the only opener to embarrass fellow celebrities, however, as Amy Schumer, a controversial comedian, was also one of the attending openers, which is just a terrible thing in and of itself.

While these terrible things may have happened, there were also many good things to come from the 2022 Oscars! Firstly, Wanda Sykes, a famous comedian and actress, was singing “Gay! Gay! Gay!” – publicly denouncing the multitude of “Don’t Say Gay” bills first introduced in Florida and now spreading around the U.S. We love queer icon Wanda Sykes for that! Next, the very first queer woman of color won an Oscar! Ariana DeBose, who previously was known for being part of the “Hamilton” ensemble, won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the new Spielberg adaptation of “West Side Story.” “You see a queer, openly queer woman of color, an Afro Latina who found her strength in life through art and that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate,” DeBose stated. Next, the third woman in history to win an Oscar for Best Director is Jane Campion! This New Zealand director was first nominated for Best Director in 1994 for her film “The Piano.” Lastly, Tony Kotsur became the first deaf man in history to win an Oscar! He was awarded Best Performance by a supporting actor in the film “CODA,” which also won Best Picture.

While many shitty things happened during the 2022 Oscars, I feel like the good overpowers the bad in this case.