Drama at the Oscars

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Chris Rock takes a brutal slap in the face from Will Smith Image Courtesy of Skynews.com

As people often say “Out with the old in with the new”. According to indiewire.com, this year 15.4 million people watched the Oscars. This statistic is 56% higher than the previous year, 2021, which was Oscar’s lowest viewer count of all time. The drama this year happened during and after the award ceremony, which may change the fate of this highly viewed event for the American people.

The movie that won the most Oscar awards this year was Dune directed by Denis Villeneuve. It won six awards in total and ten nominations. Other films that won multiple awards were The Eyes of Tammy Fey (2) and CODA (3). This year’s performances included Beyonce performing “Be alive”(King Richard), Billie Eilish – “No Time to Die”(No Time to Die), Sebastian Yatra – “Dos Oruguitas”(Encanto), Cast – “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”(Encanto), and Reba McEntire – “Somehow You Do.”  

While much of this year’s Oscars brought back a sense of normalcy,  there was one moment that no one expected to happen during the ceremony and will be remembered forever. This was the hostile attack by famous actor Will Smith committed on actor and comedian Chris Rock. It began when Rock came onto the stage and was making a few jokes, as comedians do, with one of these jokes directed towards Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife. The comedian joked about her medical condition known as alopecia, which causes the person to lose their hair, calling her “G.I Jane 2” who is a bald female character. Although Will Smith was seen laughing at first, his wife was not happy, which may have led to Smith going on the stage and slapping Rock across the face. “I feel that it was very unlike Will Smith to go on stage and insult Chris Rock like that,” said seventh-grader Paul Josse.  After this attack, Chris Rock spoke out against the unnecessary violence saying “It was just a G.I Jane joke” to Smith responding with “Keep my wife’s name out your f*****g mouth.”  

In the end, Smith still took home the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. Associate teacher Bradley Galvin thinks that Will Smith was deserving of his award. “He has put in some great work over the years, and I thought he did a great job in King Richard.”  Since this incident, the internet has been raving about it by creating memes, speaking out against Smith and Rock, and conspiracy theories. The Oscars official Twitter account tweeted about the incident, saying they do not condone violence. Smith has publicly apologized to both Rock and the Academy themselves stating, “Love makes you do crazy things.” Rock has decided not to press charges and hasn’t said much besides that. Whether or not you believe that it was staged or real or right or wrong, absolutely no one was expecting this moment to happen.

This year, the awards had a lot more diversity in recipients compared to years past as they are starting to focus on embracing other cultures, sexual orientations, etc.  Furthermore, there is a  new diversity rule that will have to be followed to win anything in the 2024 Oscars. So far, the first set of stipulations (also known as Standard A) has gotten the most attention. According to The New York Times, “At least one actor from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group must be cast in a significant role.”(The New York Times).  The film must also center on women, people who are part of the L.G.B.T.Q., are disabled, or part of a racial or ethnic group. At least one-third of the actors must comply with two of those new rules. Vox.com says that Hollywood did this so that the upcoming awards will be more diverse and inclusive. 

Some people think that this rule was very good and that it will force more diversity into movies. “I think that it is good that Hollywood is doing that because it gives people that don’t have as many chances as others to star in a movie,” said eighth-grader Sadie Weaver. For the most part, it is the old white men who have been winning, so Hollywood made that change. Some students think otherwise. Sixth-grader Brody Rivick says, “I feel like having people of different ethnicities and sexualities should be encouraged, but it should not be required.”

And that is just one of the new standards for the upcoming Oscars. With the new rules implemented in the upcoming Oscars, people will be seeing many changes coming to new and upcoming movies.  And with what happened this year, all eyes will be on the next Oscars.