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Is the Fresh Prince Finished? The Oscars 2022, A night to remember

Roar writer Mia Williams on the Oscars 2022, a night full of memorable moments including the controversial incident between actor Will Smith and comedian Chris Rock.

The Oscars have never been shy of controversial moments. Needless to say, this year’s 94th Academy Awards did not hold back, much like Will Smith. 

A seemingly controversial joke made by comedian Chris Rock about Jada Pinkett Smith’s haircut resulted in a furious Will Smith taking to the stage and then striking him in the face before returning to his seat. 

The actress has previously commented on her struggles with the medical condition Alopecia, resulting in hair loss which prompted her to shave her head. Following this unforeseen grapple, an unnerved Rock said: “Wow dude. It was a GI Jane Joke”. Rock then continued to present the best documentary feature. 

Forty minutes later, a tearful Smith was named best actor for his role in “King Richard”, a film how Venus and Serena Williams became the star tennis players we know today through the coaching of their father, Richard Williams. Smith felt that, much like Richard Williams, he had “been called on” in his life to “love and protect people”. He apologised to the Academy, and claimed that “love will make you do crazy things”. 

However, that wasn’t the only moment that made Oscar history on Sunday night. Ariana Debose was awarded best supporting actress, making history as the first “queer woman of colour” to win an Oscar. Debose starred in Steven Spielberg’s remake of “West Side Story” as Anita and said that she “found her strength in life through art”. 

The Oscars were hosted by none other than Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes. Schumer joked about the presenting trio, alluding to the issue of the gender pay gap by saying that “the academy hired 3 women to host because it is cheaper than one man.” The Oscars have not seen a female presenter since Ellen DeGeneres in 2014, truly making it a night for female empowerment. 

One of the most prestigious awards known to the event, the award for best picture, went to “CODA”, a moving film about a deaf family with a hearing daughter. Addressing the deaf community, Troy Kotsur, who also won best supporting actor, stated that “this is our moment”. “CODA” also made history as the first streaming film to be given an Academy Award. 

Jessica Chastain won the Oscar for best actress for her performance in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”. This was Chastain’s first-ever Oscar. Speaking to the viewers with a very touching message, she said: “For anyone out there who is feeling hopeless or alone, I just want you to know that you are unconditionally loved for the uniqueness that is you.”  

The Oscars also saw a number of performances this year, including ones from Billie Eilish and Beyoncé, and an exclusive performance of “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” from the film “Encanto”, with a special feature from Megan Thee Stallion.

Not only did Billie Eilish get to perform “No Time To Die”, her song for the latest James Bond film, live at the event, she also won the best original song award for it. An excited Billie and her brother Finneas took to the stage to say: “This is so unbelievable I could scream, thank you to our 007 family”. This moment clearly meant a great deal to the musically gifted pair. 

Following the events at the 94th Academy Awards, Rock has declined to “file a police report”. The Academy later stated via Twitter that they “do not condone violence of any form”.

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