Although I consider myself something of a film fan, a “film bro” if you will, I must admit that I do not enjoy the Oscars. The outfits are underwhelming, the presenting is soporific, and it’s common knowledge that the Academy’s voters are mostly in the demographic we might refer to as “male, pale, and stale”. (In 2020 the voters were 68% male, 81% white, and with a median age of 63 in 2014, despite their pledge to include more female voters, younger voters and voters of colour in 2016.) Due to this, the awards rarely reflect public opinion, and I rarely watch them.
That said, with an awards show of such size and significance comes mistakes on a similar scale. Highlights include 2017’s announcing of La La Land as Best Picture instead of Moonlight, 2013’s Jennifer Lawrence fall, and 2014’s winner for Best Song, the beloved “Adela Dazeem”.
Of course, the stand-out moment of 2022’s Academy Awards was Will Smith’s slapping of comedian Chris Rock. Which, in my opinion, was well deserved. If the butt of your joke is someone’s medical condition, you deserve a good thwack.
With this event fresh in our collective consciousness, here are a few more people who I think deserve to be on the receiving end of a knuckle sandwich at the Academy Awards.
Okay, I lied earlier. Aside from the Will Smith controversy, I was made aware of another event at the Oscars: Amy Schumer’s rude ejection of nominee Kirsten Dunst. Schumer talked about the “seat-fillers” at the awards show, before pretending Dunst was one of these seat-fillers, and promptly kicking her out of her seat.
Jesse Plemons, Dunst’s husband, coldly remarked, “You know, that was my wife, Amy”, to which Schumer expressed mock-surprise (“You’re married to that seat-filler?”). Schumer later clarified that the joke was apparently scripted, but Dunst and Plemon’s reactions seemed to imply otherwise. Whether scripted or not, I still think she could still do with a little box about the ears.
If a greasy indie man in the smoking area of a pub has ever mansplained Pulp Fiction to you, you may be entitled to financial compensation (however, if he’s mansplaining Reservoir Dogs give him a break, he’s probably in the midst of a sexuality crisis). Tarantino’s crime of enabling indie boys worldwide might be enough to earn him a gentle slap, but his treatment of female actors, not to mention his thing for feet, puts him firmly in the “strong right hook to the jaw” category. If he tries to hurt Uma Thurman again, he’s gonna have to go through me first.
I will not go into the specifics, but it is well-known that Polanski has done many horrific things to underage girls and young women and has not been held accountable for them. (He fled the United States in 1977 in order to avoid being jailed for his crimes.) And YET! He is still a decorated, celebrated and high-profile director. He won Best Director at the 2020 César Awards, an event that was notable for the walking out of Portrait of a Lady on Fire actors Adèle Haenel and Noemie Merlant, and director Céline Sciamma. As they walked out, they repeated shouted “Bravo pedophilia!”. While this was a powerful statement, I think they simply should have beaten the absolute shit out of Polanski instead. Unfortunately, he did not attend the awards ceremony. Coward.
He slept with (and then married) the adopted child of his girlfriend? The adopted child?? Of his girlfriend?? They first got together at the age of 16??? Jesus Christ. Someone invite me to the Oscars, I’m gonna go Brad Pitt in Fight Club, Robert Pattenson at the end of The Batman mode on this man.
This is old news but honestly? I don’t care. I think everyone should punch him. Every. Single. Audience. Member. You know why.
Read our Oscars breakdown here.