Like many other students, I didn’t get a chance to watch the Oscars live last night. However, as soon as I opened up social media, I knew I had to be part of the conversation surrounding the Oscars — but not because of the award-winning films.
At Oscars ceremony on Sunday, presenter Chris Rock made a joke about actress Jada Pinkett Smith at her expense alopecia – a condition that causes hair loss – referring to “GI Jane”. In response, Will Smith, Jada’s husband, took the stage and slapped Rock in the face before returning to his seat and yelling at the presenter. Smith went on to win her first Oscar for “King Richardwithout apologizing to Rock, capping off the most confusing moment of the night.
This entire episode became the most talked about event of the night, with people online That is socket parties to the conflict or manufacturing jokes out of it, with references to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Everybody Hates Chris” making up most of my personal Twitter feed.
This divide between hot takes and humor carried over into the real world, with LMU students having their own reactions to the now infamous slap.
“I felt the Oscar slap was probably undeserved, but also a little funny at the same time,” said political science student Henry Merten.
“I personally felt like it was staged; Chris Rock kind of ate it too well,” said Cormac McCain, a sophomore in entrepreneurship. “But after seeing Will Smith’s reaction, it seemed pretty realistic.”
“I think Will Smith is trapped with Jada, and she’s manipulating him, and she’s just awful, and he’s the GOAT,” said international relations sophomore Rene Perez. “But it was a bad decision on his part.”
Given the widespread controversy, I also felt the need to share an opinion and join the fray. The whole world is talking about it, and I couldn’t resist giving my nuanced point of view.
However, after some time thinking about it and seemingly hearing everyone’s opinion on it, I feel exhausted and without a side in the conflict.
While it’s not acceptable to mock someone’s health, one bad joke does not justify the much worse act of actual criminal violence or a lack of self-awareness or forgiveness. Black-smith apologized a day after the fact, and what should have been a moment of growth became a battleground for everyone to make up their own minds. It’s just pure ugliness that’s worthless.
“We laughed in the moment, but that’s about it,” Perez said.
The Oscars have been no stranger to controversy; unfortunately, these controversies are often better remembered and associated with the Oscars than the films themselves. Last night’s on-screen violence may be a first, but it follows in the footsteps of partisan speeches and boo diversity.
All in all, it’s a shame for everyone who worked hard on these films to be left in the dust on the evening when the general public shares an appreciation for the art of cinema. As discussed in a previous article in The Loyolan’s opinion section, there are so many people working on these movies who don’t get the recognition they deserve for working on the less glamorous behind-the-scenes roles. .
Instead of talking about the care these folks give to works that audiences love to see, we’ve wasted our time debating which side of a TV slap in the face deserves the most hate and cancellation.
Ironically, the ceremony included a moment of silence to draw attention to the violence in Ukraine, and yet the moment that defined the night was ripe with violence and hatred. Is that why we want the night to be remembered, or do we want to celebrate what people like to talk about, which is the movies?
“It’s kind of interesting that the main talk has become this moment instead of, you know, maybe the talk around, you know, the importance of ASL in filmmaking, especially with ‘Coda’ which has won best picture,” said sophomore film Jacob Gold. and major in media studies. “Even though it’s a great moment, not many people have talked about it.”
As a former film and television production major, I know the feeling someone has when they want to create art in this industry. They have stories to tell and messages to hear, and these messages can call for peace in times of conflict. It would be a good time for these messages to be amplified through famous art.
The Oscars should be an opportunity to show the best filmmakers, not the worst. As a campus that continues to produce new filmmakers and artists, let us learn from the Smith-Rock controversy and aim to put more love into this art rather than sullying it with scandal and violence.
This is the opinion of Cristobal Spielmann, an environmental science major from San Antonio. Email your comments to [email protected]. Follow and tweet comments for @LALoyolan on Twitter, and like Loyolan on Facebook.