“Slap heard ’round the world” spoils Academy Awards show


Less than 45 minutes after walking onto the Academy Awards stage and slapping comedian Chris Rock for a perceived insult of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith accepted his Oscar for Best Actor.

The 2022 Oscars were nothing short of a wild experience. What started off as another generic awards show devolved into  the topic of discussion in everyone’s mouth for days thanks to “the slap heard around the world.”

 For those that are unaware, eventual Best Actor winner Will Smith, took exception to a joke at his wife’s (Jada Pinkett Smith) expense told by comedian Chris Rock who was on stage to present the Best Feature Documentary Award. Will Smith walked onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face. Rock took the slap relatively well and played it off, even making a joke about that. But after sitting back down, Smith yelled twice “Keep my wife’s name out your f***** mouth.” 

Forty-four minutes after slapping Rock, Smith won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of and driving influence behind tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams, in King Richard.

Upon accepting his award, Smith gave a five-minute-long, tear-filled, veiled rationalization for his slapping of Rock, apologizing to everyone except Rock. “The slap heard around the world” has drawn mixed reactions, but one thing is for certain: it will be the first thing that comes to mind when the 2022 Academy Awards are mentioned, and for quite some time, any time Will Smith’s or Chris Rock’s names are mentioned. 

Smith’s action not only served to overshadow his own Academy Award win, but has taken the focus of the other winners as well, and that is unfortunate. Nevertheless, here are the Academy Award nominees in each category with the winners in bold type.

BEST PICTURE: Belfast, CODA, Don’t Look Up, Drive My Car, Dune, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

BEST ACTOR: Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick…Boom!), Will Smith (King Richard), Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)

BEST ACTRESS: Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tommy Faye), Olivia Coleman (The Lost Daughter), Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers), Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos), Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

BEST DIRECTOR: Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza), Kenneth Branagh (Belfast), Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Ciarán Hinds (Belfast), Troy Kotsur (CODA), Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog), J.K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos), Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:  Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter), Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Judi Dench (Belfast), Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog), Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Belfast, Don’t Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza,The Worst Person in the World

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: CODA, Drive My Car, Dune, The Lost Daughter, The Power of the Dog

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Dune, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth, West Side Story

BEST EDITING: Don’t Look Up, Dune, King Richard, The Power of the Dog, Tick, Tick…Boom!

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Dune, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth, West Side Story

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Cruella, Cyrano, Dune, Nightmare Alley, West Side Story

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING: Coming 2 America, Cruella, Dune, The Eyes of Tommy Faye, House of Gucci

BEST SOUND: Belfast, Dune, No Time to Die, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Dune, Free Guy, No Time to Die, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spiderman: No Way Home

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Be Alive” (King Richard), “Dos Oruguitas” (Encanto), “Down to Joy” (Belfast), “No Time to Die” (No Time to Die), “Somehow You Do” (Four Good Days)

BEST SCORE: Don’t Look Up, Dune, Encanto, Parallel Mothers, The Power of the Dog

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE: Drive My Car (Japan), Flee (Denmark), The Hand of God (Italy), Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan), The Worst Person in the World (Norway)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Encanto, Flee, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Raya and the Last Dragon

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Ascension, Attica, Flee, Summer of Soul, Writing With Fire

BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Affairs of the Art, Bestia, Boxballet, Robin Robin, The Windshield Wiper

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Audible, Lead Me Home, The Queen of Basketball, Three Songs for Benazir, When We Were Bullies

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT: Ala Kachuu, On My Mind, Please Hold, The Dress, The Long Goodbye

There were also two new categories introduced this year that were voted on by fans to decide the winner. Zack Snyder fans took over the voting and ended up winning both of the new fan-voting categories. 

FAN-FAVORITE: Army of the Dead, Cinderella, Minamata, Tick, Tick…Boom!, Spiderman: No Way Home

MOST CHEER-WORTHY MOMENT:  “Three Spiderman team up” from Spiderman: No Way Home, “Bullet Time” from The Matrix, “Avengers, Assemble” from Avengers: Endgame, “And I’m Telling You” song from Dreamgirls, “Flash enters the speed force” from Zack Snyder’s: Justice League