The daily gossip 2022 Oscars edition: Will Smith smacks Chris Rock on live TV, the Academy's Twitter polls were a disaster, and more

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Will Smith and Chris Rock.
(Image credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Will Smith smacks Chris Rock at the Oscars

Will Smith got in one little fight at the Oscars, and we all got scared. In the most shocking Academy Awards moment of the modern era, Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock right across the face on live television over a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. "Keep my wife's name out of your f--king mouth," Smith angrily shouted as an uncomfortable silence enveloped the theater. What followed was a deranged final hour in which the Oscars just continued on as if nothing happened, and Smith soon won the Oscar for Best Actor — and received a standing ovation. In a bizarre speech, Smith tearfully apologized to the Academy but not to the guy he just assaulted, saying "love will make you do crazy things." The Academy on Monday condemned Smith, saying it's launching a "formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences." The incident seemed to bring the absolute worst commentary out of everyone on both sides — either the slap was basically another 9/11 or it was, as Tiffany Haddish declared, the "most beautiful thing I've ever seen." Stop the hot take cycle, we want to get off!

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2. The Oscars' Twitter polls went about as well as expected

Who could have foreseen getting Twitter involved in the Oscars might not go well? The Academy asked Twitter users to take part in two cringe-worthy online polls, one to select the best movie of 2021 and one picking the best "cheer moment" in a movie. Obviously, the Academy assumed Spider-Man: No Way Home would win, giving it a presence on the show after it didn't earn a Best Picture nod. Instead, Zack Snyder fanboys made sure a forgettable scene from the Snyder Cut came in at number one in the cheer moment poll, and since it wasn't eligible as the fan-favorite movie (as it's technically a director's cut of a 2017 film), they pushed Snyder's Army of the Dead to the top spot. In second was the widely-panned Camila Cabello girlboss Cinderella movie, and in third was a Johnny Depp film pretty much no one has heard of let alone seen — all the way down at number four was No Way Home. Well, the Academy might have presented eight entire awards off the air, but at least they made great use of the extra time, right?

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The Hollywood Reporter

3. A bunch of historic Oscar wins were overshadowed by The Slap

You wouldn't really know it from looking at Monday's coverage, but some non-slap things did actually happen at the Oscars, and a number of winners made history. CODA's Troy Kotsur became the first deaf man to win an Oscar for acting, while West Side Story's Ariana DeBose became the first openly queer woman of color to win an acting award. The Power of the Dog's Jane Campion became the third woman to win Best Director, and — get ready to feel old here — Billie Eilish became the first person born in the 21st century to win an Oscar, taking Best Original Song for "No Time to Die." Apple TV+'s CODA also became the first streaming movie to win the Best Picture Oscar. Unfortunately, Will Smith's nonsense seemed to overshadow almost all of this, the same way no one can tell you what happened at the 2017 Oscars before the Moonlight/La La Land mix-up. If your historic award win came during the same ceremony in which one of our favorite actors had a total meltdown on live TV, did it really happen?

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4. Timothée Chalamet did not wear a shirt to the Oscars

Perhaps just as distressingly, the slap overshadowed the fact that Timothée Chalamet was, in fact, shirtless at the Oscars. The Dune star wore a lace jacket to the ceremony with no shirt underneath, teaching us all that the Academy Awards do not, in fact, have a "no shirt, no shoes, no Oscars" policy. He was wearing Louis Vuitton womenswear, according to CNN, and W Magazine proclaimed his outfit "just rewrote the Oscars dress code." Another bold fashion choice was made by Kristen Stewart, who wore short shorts. "This appeared to be the first pair of hot pants in the history of the Oscars red carpet," The Wall Street Journal reported, and the choice allowed for our personal favorite tweet of the night: Los Angeles Times critic Justin Chang asked, "Did Kristen Stewart win for best live-action shorts?" According to Times reporter Amy Kaufman, Stewart "immediately changed out of heels and into flats the second she got off the red carpet." She's still the Best Actress frontrunner in our hearts.

CNN The Wall Street Journal

5. Netflix bombs with just 1 Oscar win

Maybe Netflix can thank Will Smith, though, seeing as we're not talking more about what an embarrassingly terrible night they had. Netflix's The Power of the Dog, you may recall, was once the overwhelming favorite to win Best Picture this year, and it had a whopping 12 nominations. Netflix had 27 nominations total, with other contenders like Don't Look Up. In the end, though, the streamer won a grand total of one Oscar: Best Director for The Power of the Dog's Jane Campion, the only category it had basically no chance of losing. It was a pretty brutal showing, especially considering a Netflix competitor, Apple TV+, won Best Picture instead. But hey, it wasn't a total loss: with Army of the Dead, Netflix did win the Twitter fan favorite poll (which wasn't actually an official category and thus did not come with an Oscar). So they have that going for them! Who needs Best Picture, right?


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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.