Nobody could have ever expected The Slap -- it was a truly wild night!
The Oscars are attempting a return to normalcy ... and after that Will Smith-Chris Rock moment, this wasn't it!
While Covid continues to affect Award Season 2022, the Academy Awards were at least back in their regular home -- returning to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood following last year's precaution-filled celebration at Union Station in Los Angeles. And, after three consecutive years without a host, we got three this time around: Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall.
Going into the night, "The Power of the Dog" scored the most nominations with 12. Following close behind was "Dune," with 10 nominations, and "Belfast" and "West Side Story," tied with 7 noms apiece.
In a big and very controversial change, eight winners -- for Animated Short Film, Documentary Short Subject, Film Editing, Live Action Short Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design and Sound -- were handed out during a non-televised pre-show and spliced in during the broadcast, thus shortening their overall time.
This was done to allow for more "comedy, musical numbers, film clip packages and movie tributes" throughout the night. So, did that change pay off? Check out these viral moments and decide for yourself.
Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock After Joke About Jada
Tense moments at this year's #Oscars as Will Smith confronted Chris Rock on stage live on tv, following a joke that mocked a medical condition of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.https://t.co/EViXaQY1NZ pic.twitter.com/cmG3abSiRW— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 28, 2022 @GMA
In the final hour of the show, Will Smith stormed the stage after Chris Rock -- who was presenting an award -- made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.
"Jada, I love you, G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it," said Rock, referring to Pinkett-Smith's shaved head. The actress and "Red Table Talk" host has been very open about her hair loss in recent years and rolled her eyes in annoyance at the barb.
Though Rock tried defending the joke, Will walked up on stage, smacked Rock and walked off. The sound cut at that moment, but the camera was on Smith, who clearly said, "Keep my wife's name out of your f---ing mouth."
An unedited version of it aired in Australia, where Rock said, "Will Smith just smacked the s--- out of me." He then noted, "Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke," as a very angry Smith repeated himself.
After regaining his composure, Rock called it "the greatest night in the history of television" and went on with the show. The show continued, but Twitter straight up erupted ... and it was hard to focus on anything else after that.
UNCENSORED WILL SMITH FOOTAGE AS SHOWN ON AUSTRALIAN TV pic.twitter.com/NcRfdjWxqe— David Mack (@davidmackau) March 28, 2022 @davidmackau
Wtaf????? That wasn’t scripted????? 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) March 28, 2022 @Trevornoah
You know what's crazy? I tuned in late and missed it. And then wound it back. Oh. My. God. I don't know what's more impressive...the fact that Will punched him or that Chris Rock can really take a punch. That was boxer level impressive--on Chris' part.— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) March 28, 2022 @cheo_coker
What a very west Philly Oscars.— quinta brunson (@quintabrunson) March 28, 2022 @quintabrunson
During the commercial break, Will Smith is pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motion for him to brush it off. Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side. pic.twitter.com/uDGVnWrSS2— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) March 28, 2022 @ScottFeinberg
Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith being in "G.I. Jane" because of her bald head. She's spoken openly about having a hair loss condition. Will Smith ran on stage, slapped Rock, then screamed twice at the top of his lungs "KEEP MY WIFE'S NAME OUT OF YOUR F-NG MOUTH."— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) March 28, 2022 @AmyKinLA
i know what needs to be taken to the red table …— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) March 28, 2022 @hunteryharris
So Jada Smith has alopecia & has been very open about the difficulties and pain of dealing with hair loss. I imagine that’s why Will was so pissed about Chris Rock’s joke about her hair but wow. That was unexpected #Oscars— jstoobs (@thejstoobs) March 28, 2022 @thejstoobs
Sorry, but no one’s thinking about THE GODFATHER right now — we’re all still in TOTAL SHOCK that WILL SMITH PUNCHED CHRIS ROCK IN THE FACE ON LIVE TV AT THE OSCARS! #Oscars #AcademyAwards— Scott Mantz (@MovieMantz) March 28, 2022 @MovieMantz
March 28, 2022 @InsaneLetterbox
everybody moving past the altercation between chris rock and will smith on live tv #Oscars pic.twitter.com/3GQkt1oJMZ— RCE (@moreofmaur) March 28, 2022 @moreofmaur
Will Smith Wins After The Slap
will smith is giving a speech about being against violence JUST AFTER HE SLAPPED A MAN ON LIVE TV????? pic.twitter.com/nhrFGIEuDV— tori⁷ JIMIN OST (@etherealdiminie) March 28, 2022 @etherealdiminie
Will Smith’s acceptance speech as he wins his first ever #Oscar pic.twitter.com/qKVTOb7V6Q— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) March 28, 2022 @DiscussingFilm
Shortly after the smack seen 'round the world, Will won for Best Actor, picking up the first Oscar of his career. He was immediately emotional and started to compare himself to Venus and Serena Williams' father, Richard Williams, who he portrayed in "King Richard."
"Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment I am overwhelmed at what God is calling on me to do and be in this world," he said. "I'm being called on in my life to love people. And to protect people. And to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do you gotta be able to talk abuse, you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and pretend like that's okay."
"Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, "At your highest moment, be careful, that's when the devil comes for you" -- it's like, I wanna to be a vessel for love," he continued.
After thanking the Williams' family for allowing him to tell their story, he said he wanted to be "an ambassador of that kind of love, care and concern."
"I want to apologize to my Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I'm not crying for winning an award, it's not about winning an award for me. It's about being able to shine light on all of the people [in the cast and crew]," he added. "Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things."
He concluded, "I hope the Academy invites me back. Thank you." Host Amy Schumer later joked, "Did I miss anything? There's, like, a different vibe in here."
#Oscars host Amy Schumer jokes, "I've been getting out of the Spider Man costume...did I miss anything?" https://t.co/EViXaQY1NZ pic.twitter.com/H5r24mtZw3— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 28, 2022 @GMA
Me watching this Will Smith speech pic.twitter.com/snClzF82k5— Kofie (@Kofie) March 28, 2022 @Kofie
This speech by Will Smith is really really awkward. Maybe don't talk about being a vessel for love after you punch a comedian.— HawaiiDelilah™ stands with Ukraine (@HawaiiDelilah) March 28, 2022 @HawaiiDelilah
The audience inside the Dolby isn’t really sure how to react to Will Smith’s speech. #Oscars— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) March 28, 2022 @RaminSetoodeh
they knew not to play that music during will smith speech iktr!— zae (@itszaeok) March 28, 2022 @itszaeok
Beyonce Kicks Off the Show
Beyoncé’s first award show performance in 5 years #Oscars pic.twitter.com/u6rZ1tc65D— IVY (@ivyparkspr) March 28, 2022 @ivyparkspr
The show didn't begin with the opening bit from the three hosts -- more on that in a minute -- but with a (probably pre-taped) performance from Beyonce of the nominated song "Be Alive" from "King Richard." She wasn't in the house, however, but performed it from the tennis courts in Compton, home of Venus and Serena Williams.
It was a great way to kick off the evening and keep things light and vibrant -- until they weren't anymore.
Now THAT'S how you start a show.https://t.co/1H1Y9jC9bl#oscars pic.twitter.com/lPQheRiVci— ABC News (@ABC) March 28, 2022 @ABC
I like how Beyoncé is going first so we don't have to watch the whole show if it is terrible.— roxane gay (@rgay) March 28, 2022 @rgay
So we’re gonna start by letting @Beyonce do whatever she wants in tribute to Compton and the Williams sisters: Never a bad plan. #Oscars— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) March 28, 2022 @franklinleonard
Beyoncé said "let me win an Emmy for this Oscars performance" pic.twitter.com/G34YpXX7YU— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) March 28, 2022 @SpencerAlthouse
Honestly glad Beyoncé didn’t go to the ceremony. She should not have to be subjected to this.— Phillip (@MajorPhilebrity) March 28, 2022 @MajorPhilebrity
Beyoncé said "I'm not coming and you will open the show with me." #Oscars— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) March 28, 2022 @JarettSays
BEYONCÉ BRINGING PRODUCTION VALUE. #Oscars— Miss Nancy Arrives, (@yosoymichael) March 28, 2022 @yosoymichael
when beyoncé finish her performance them views are going to DROP pic.twitter.com/luIH70P1iq— Beyzus⁴ 🐝 (@virgobeyyyy) March 27, 2022 @virgobeyyyy
The Hosts Take No Prisoners
Oscars hosts Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall came out swinging on Sunday as they took aim at the Academy, Hollywood, the Government, the nominees... and even themselves.
"This year, the Academy hired three women," Schumer began, "because it's cheaper than hiring one man."
As Hall and Sykes declared their pride representing Black women as Oscar hosts, Schumer awkwardly added she was representing all the "unbearable white women who call the cops when you get a little too loud."
There were also jibes aimed at the Academy itself and its controversial decision to edit out some of the awards (including, ironically enough, Best Editing); as the hosts defended the move, technical difficulties ensued. The attack on the Academy continued, as Sykes slammed the snubs, like Rachel Zegler for "West Side Story", Jennifer Hudson for "Respect", and Lady Gaga and Jared Leto for "House of Random Accents."
The trio concluded by promising everyone it was going to be a great night... and to the people of Florida, "We're gonna have a gay night!!" Watch the full monologue here.
Ariana DeBose Makes History
"Now you see why that Anita says, 'I want to live in America,' because, even in this weary world we live in, dreams do come true."@ArianaDeBose wins the #Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in @WestSideMovie. #Oscars https://t.co/EViXaQY1NZ pic.twitter.com/aTjjYrLD3w— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 28, 2022 @GMA
"Now you see why that Anita says 'I want to live in America," because even in this weary world that we live in, dreams do come true and that's really a heartening thing right now.
"Imagine this little girl in the back seat of white Ford Focus, look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina who found her strength in life through art. That's what I believe we're here to celebrate. So to anybody who has ever questioned their identity or found yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you there is indeed a place for us."
With her win and that speech, she made history.
Ariana DeBose become the first openly queer women to win an acting #Oscar after winning ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role.’ pic.twitter.com/vndluWnFaC— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) March 28, 2022 @PopCrave
Ariana DeBose stood on the #Oscars stage and talks about being an openly queer Afro-Latina ... TEARS. I love her. pic.twitter.com/khBFP4grXL— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) March 28, 2022 @JarettSays
Audience members stand up to applaud as Ariana DeBose reminds the crowd that history is being made for this win to go to an openly queer woman of color— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) March 28, 2022 @kylebuchanan
So happy for Ariana DeBose! YOU GO QUEER GIRL!!! L #GAY #GAY #GAY #Oscars @ArianaDeBose— Tom and Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) March 28, 2022 @tomandlorenzo
Ariana DeBose just won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first-ever openly queer woman of color to win an acting category. Congratulations, @ArianaDeBose! #Oscars— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 28, 2022 @HRC
Regina Hall Shoots Her Shot ... with Everyone
In a bit after Ariana's win, Regina Hall announced that she'd have to pull some audience members backstage for a last minute Covid test. But when she started calling names, a trend emerged: They were all men!
She called up Bradley Cooper, Simu Liu, Tyler Perry, Timothee Chalamet, crossed off Javier Bardem because he's married and joked about Will Smith, "you're on the list and it looks like Jada approved you, so get up here!"
She also joked, "Denzel, Pauletta, is John David here?" Sadly, he wasn't.
"Take your mask off ... and your clothes. I'm gonna swab the back of your mouth, with my tongue," she then told the men. "And do some other freaky stuff that I will record for Academy protocol. This isn't up to me, we're still in a pandemic."
No, it wouldn't have flown with the genders reversed, but with Hall, it was hilarious.
Kind of love that Regina is getting to do a bit men have been doing for years. And better. #oscars— Damian Holbrook (@damianholbrook) March 28, 2022 @damianholbrook
Regina Hall’s “Covid test” bit is easily the funniest thing an #Oscars host had done in a decade.— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) March 28, 2022 @theferocity
I may never recover from Regina Hall’s Covid “academy protocol” skit. This show is silly fun. About time. #Oscars https://t.co/p0uGdM58q3— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) March 28, 2022 @juliettekayyem
Regina is doing the Lord’s work with this COVID pat down. 🤣🤣#Oscars— Vilissa Thompson (@VilissaThompson) March 28, 2022 @VilissaThompson
Regina Hall only calling up hot men onstage…we support the thirst #Oscars— Emmy Potter (@emmylanepotter) March 28, 2022 @emmylanepotter
REGINA!! 😩🤣🤣— Nina Parker (@theninaparker) March 28, 2022 @theninaparker
White Men Can't Jump Reunion
Rosie Perez: "It's just hard to believe that it's been 30 years since 'White Men Can't Jump.'"— ABC News (@ABC) March 28, 2022 @ABC
Woody Harrelson: "You mean 30 years since I proved they could."https://t.co/E3rcohFylv#oscars pic.twitter.com/FoN8ci4iII
Wesley Snipes, Rosie Perez and Woody Harrelson hit the stage to present, the same day "White Men Can't Jump" celebrated its 30th anniversary -- and they all looked incredible.
"It's just hard to believe that it's been 30 years since 'White Men Can't Jump,'" said Perez as they got to the mic. "You mean 30 years since I proved they could," cracked Harrelson, as Snipes quoted the movie by saying he still looked like "a slow white geeky chump to me."
They then all started to joke about Woody being high -- "Wish I hadn't done that bong rip in the car," he exclaimed -- before they presented Best Cinematography to "Dune."
I did not expect White Men Can’t Jump to get an #Oscars moment, but you know what… I’ll take. it.— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) March 28, 2022 @TheEricGoldman
This will be my most controversial tweet of the night. Was WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP that good? 30 years later standing O good?— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) March 28, 2022 @joshuahorowitz
i question how many people in that audience have watched white men can't jump #Oscars— Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) March 28, 2022 @ReelTalker
WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP at the oscars 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) March 28, 2022 @SheaSerrano
How lovely to see the cast of White Men Can't Jump back together. I love that movie.— roxane gay (@rgay) March 28, 2022 @rgay
Troy Kotsur Becomes First Deaf Man to Win Acting Oscar
"I really want to thank all the wonderful deaf theater stages where I was allowed and given the opportunity to develop my craft as an actor."— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 28, 2022 @GMA
Troy Kotsur accepts the #Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role to for "CODA."#Oscarshttps://t.co/EViXaQY1NZ pic.twitter.com/7qkDcsh0sM
Like his "CODA" costar Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur made history -- becoming the first deaf man and second deaf actor ever to win an acting Academy Award. After the initial cheer of excitement, the audience was filled with audience members doing a silent applause instead.
"This is amazing to be here on this journey. I can't believe I'm here. It's really amazing that our film CODA has reached out world wide. It even reached to the White House," he said in his speech. "They invited the cast to have a tour of the White House, I met President Joe and Dr. Jill and I was planning on teaching them some dirty sign language, but Marlee Matlin told me to behave myself."
He then thanked the film's director Sian Hader for bringing the "deaf world and hearing world together" with the project, paid tribute to his parents and family and concluded, "I just wanted to say that this is dedicated to the deaf community, the CODA [children of deaf adult] community, the disabled community. This is our moment."
What a moment. https://t.co/TZLBRpIUHo #oscars pic.twitter.com/7CZOapWUMZ— ABC News (@ABC) March 28, 2022 @ABC
OMG! Did she SIGN @TroyKotsur’s name and now everyone is doing the sign for applause!!! 😭❤️— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 28, 2022 @YNB
The ugly cry. I am in the midst of the UGLIEST of UGLY cries!!! 😩#Oscars #CODA
I am so moved by Troy Kotsur winning. How lovely. Coda was such a fine movie and he was particularly good.— roxane gay (@rgay) March 28, 2022 @rgay
troy kotsur’s speech i DID cry— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) March 28, 2022 @hunteryharris
Youn Yuh-Jung signing before naming Troy Kotsur (who was amazing) saved this whole show, no notes— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) March 28, 2022 @minakimes
This Troy Kotsur speech is so so beautiful.— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 28, 2022 @chrislhayes
Troy Kotsur, an absolute masterclass in how to give an acceptance speech— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) March 28, 2022 @kylebuchanan
Troy Kotsur and Ariana DeBose a reminder that you can add all comedy bits and reunions you want but it's the speeches. It's always the speeches. #Oscars— Sam Adams (@SamuelAAdams) March 28, 2022 @SamuelAAdams
find someone who looks at you the way Youn Yuh-jung looks at Troy Kotsur #Oscars pic.twitter.com/C47buWljaM— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) March 28, 2022 @SpencerAlthouse
We DO Talk About Bruno
Luis Fonsi, Becky g and Megan thee stallion performing we don't talk about bruno is everything pic.twitter.com/cM5sQ93xTQ— goodnightngo (@victorsssss____) March 28, 2022 @victorsssss____
It wasn't nominated for an Oscar -- that honor went to "Los Oruguitas" but "We Don't Talk About Bruno" was clearly the breakout song from "Encanto." So much so that the cast and some very special guests were invited to perform it during the telecast.
Though the performance started out with voice actors including Stephanie Beatriz, Carolina Gaitán and Diane Guerrero doing the number, they were joined by Megan Thee Stallion, Becky G and Luis Fonsi for one helluva remix.
For better or worse, the performance confirmed we'll probably be talking about you know who for some time to come.
Meghan The Stallion rapping to "We Don't Talk About Bruno" just forced 2022 to collapse into its own black hole.— Kevin Fallon (@kpfallon) March 28, 2022 @kpfallon
fun fact: this is the very first time i'm hearing "We Don't Talk About Bruno." does it usually include a rap about Hollywood's Biggest Night? #Oscars— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) March 28, 2022 @davidehrlich
MEG REMIXED “WE DON’T TALK ABOUT BRUNO” 🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) March 28, 2022 @SheaSerrano
I just wanted to hear "we don't talk about Bruno" And y'all brought out Luis Fonsi amd Becky G ?????? #Oscars pic.twitter.com/fBy42xnXbk— Iridian (@Iridian_fierro) March 28, 2022 @Iridian_fierro
THEY DID NOT JUST PULL OUT MEGAN THEE STALLION FOR WE DON’T TALK ABOUT BRUNO 💀💀 #Oscars #Oscars2022 pic.twitter.com/bRtYbycwnd— mily (@swaggmily) March 28, 2022 @swaggmily
me singing along to we don’t talk about bruno then they hit us w a remix #Oscars pic.twitter.com/J04wxZMCQt— 𝓪. (@niallschalamet) March 28, 2022 @niallschalamet
Really wish they kept the focus on the cast and stuck to the original version of 'We Don't Talk About Bruno.'— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) March 28, 2022 @PNemiroff
Was really looking forward to that. #Oscars
Liza Minnelli Makes Rare Appearance for Final Award
And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to ... #CODA— The Recount Alt (@therecountalt) March 28, 2022 @therecountalt
Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli present the night's biggest award at the #Oscars pic.twitter.com/LZ2j9kc7Iz
Making an extremely rare public appearance, Liza Minnelli -- in a wheelchair -- was joined by Lady Gaga to present the winner for Best Picture. Her appearance on the telecast was timed with the 50th anniversary of "Cabaret." While she was a little flustered before announcing the nominees, Gaga made her comfortable by whispering, "I got you," before Liza replied, "I know."
After the noms were revealed, Liza cut off Gaga singing a snippet of "Cabaret" and told her partner she was her "biggest fan." They then revealed the night's big winner: "CODA."
I love Lady Gaga .. she’s helping Liza so well “ I got you” #Oscars— Loni Love (@LoniLove) March 28, 2022 @LoniLove
Lady Gaga leaning down and telling Liza that she’s got her made me cry— Marti (@MartiGCummings) March 28, 2022 @MartiGCummings
Lady Gaga whispering “I gotcha” to Liza and Liza saying “I know” back to her has healed me. I am healed.— Shakina (@Shakeenz) March 28, 2022 @Shakeenz
A standing ovation for Lady Gaga and surprise presenter Liza Minnelli. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/KLy4SaCRxf— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) March 28, 2022 @RaminSetoodeh
gaga & liza, I want more gaga and liza— jourdain searles (@judysquirrels) March 28, 2022 @judysquirrels
LADY GAGA AND LIZA MINNELLI pic.twitter.com/FHxuAGiebS— Tom Zohar (@TomZohar) March 28, 2022 @TomZohar
And now 👑Liza with 👑Lady Gaga? I’m overwhelmed by the telecast. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/1o3mp4qUsR— Danny Pellegrino (@DannyPellegrino) March 28, 2022 @DannyPellegrino