A Recap of the 2022 Oscars


Clarion photo AFP via Getty Images

Ariana Debose, Troy Kotsur, and Jessica Chastain

The 94th Academy Award show, hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes on March 27 to represent and celebrate achievements and success in the film industry, was an historical night for a multitude of reasons.

A number of people representing marginalized groups won awards this night; however it was overshadowed by Will Smith’s slap to Chris Rock’s face.

Here is a recap of the historical winners in their nominated categories:

Ariana DeBose won best supporting actor for her role in West Side Story. She was the first openly queer woman of color to win an Oscar.

Troy Kotsur won best supporting actor for the film Coda. He was the first deaf man to win an Oscar for acting.

Jane Campion won best director for the film The Power of the Dog. She is the third woman ever to win in the category; all of the other nominees this year were men. This is the second year in a row that a woman has won. Last year, director Chloé Zhao won for her film Nomadland.

Will Smith won best actor for his role in King Richard, and he is the fifth black man to win the award.

Riz Ahmed won best live action short film with Aneil Karia, The Long Goodbye. He’s the first Muslim and person of Asian decent to win in that catergory.

Jessica Chastain won best actress for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. She used her speech to show her support of the LGBTQ+ community.

However, although there were all these amazing achievements, they were quickly overshadowed in the media. One of the presenters, comedian Chris Rock, told a joke about Will Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith. The joke made light of Pinkett Smith’s alopecia, which is a condition that causes a person to lose hair. The joke was “Jada, I love you – I can’t wait for GI Jane 2.”

For those who don’t understand the joke, GI Jane is about a woman in the Navy, and she has a shaved head. Pinkett Smith did not find the joke funny, and Smith appeared to be laughing at first. He then walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face. Smith then proceeded to walk off stage back to his seat and yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.” Twice.

He then won the Oscar 10 minutes later and had an interesting and tearful acceptance speech with no apology. There were rumors that Will Smith would have his Oscar taken away, but those were debunked and proved not true.

Eight categories were not included in the televised award show. The network threatened to cancel the whole thing if they couldn’t make it shorter, so they presented eight awards before it aired. This was a controversial decision because they could’ve cut down on the cringey comedy, forced jokes, or even the lengthy red carpet to acknowledge these hardworking people in important aspects of filmmaking. They also played almost all five nominated songs, except the song “Down for Joy,” when they hadn’t done that in previous years.

The Oscars this year were memorable, but not for the historical achievements of amazing actors and film directions. Instead it got overshadowed by some selfish moves and lame jokes.