Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars. We've all seen the video by now. And we all know what we think we saw. But do we know for sure that this isn't part of an ongoing slap bet?
The most incredible part of the incident, in which Chris Rock told a joke on stage at Jada Pinkett Smith's expense, Will Smith laughed, JPS said something, and then Will got up and smacked Chris Rock across his face, was that someone actually made a GI Jane joke. In 2022. Incredible.
The moment is unfortunate as it takes away from all the special moments from the Oscars last night, like the way that the Oscars would have otherwise brought viewers together in one voice asking: "What on earth is CODA? I watch it where?"
This morning there are reportedly meetings about what will be done. It is unlikely that Will Smith will be asked to hand back his gold statue, but I'd be surprised if he is allowed to keep his Academy membership. The classy thing for Will to have done would be to wait for a chance to get up on stage to accept his Oscar (a near certainty), offer a tearfelt comment directed at Rock about his wife's medical issue, and then walk off stage looking like a real hero complete with incredible Oscars speech moment. Instead he acted like a thug. What a dick.
Oscar ratings up 56%
The ratings for the Oscars this year were up a whopping 56% this year. But before you look at that as a huge win for audience passion for the Oscars, realise that is up from last year's disastrously low ratings. This year just 15.36 million people tuned in.
Viewership peaked about an hour before the Will Smith incident.
Some quick Oscars thoughts
Total honesty: as I type this newsletter, I have seen maybe the first 20 or so minutes of the awards. And the Chris Rock/Will Smith moment thanks to uncensored clips on Twitter. My, oh, my... the mouth on that Will Smith boy. Why can't he be as nicely spoken as that nice Christopher Rock?
- It was good that they had actual hosting this year, but why do they have all three up front doing a "comedy" intro quasi-monologue slash celebrity roast when just minutes later Amy Schumer is out hosting and she does her own solo monologue? That took up a lot of unnecessary time (and was largely not very good) - I wonder how many extra craft awards could have been broadcast instead....
- My overall thesis around the Oscars and why they don't make a lick of sense in the modern age is that film and TV is now so intertwined, the Oscars would be best served by teaming up with the Emmy Awards for a joint awards broadcast. Split it across two nights (months apart) and do one night for scripted and another for reality/documentary. As I sat down to watch the awards last night, it just seemed so far removed from my experience as a viewer, that I opted instead for an early night and just read for a bit.
- Something the Oscars did right: The Beyonce musical performance at the start. Something I have harped on about a few times in this newsletter in the past is how unengaging musical performances on awards shows tend to be, but how electric the musical performances were on that Joe Biden America comes together innauguration special (whatever it was called) back in January last year. All those performances took place across the US in real world locations and were stellar. Beyonce out on the tennis court with her Busby Berkeley dancers... it was compelling TV.
Missed from the In Memorium
Who did the Academy forget about this year? Bob Saget, Norm Macdonald, Louie Anderson, Joan Didion, Anne Rice, and Ed Asner.
As if directing Dirty Work wasn't reason enough to be recognised, Saget was also a Student Academy Award winner for a 1977 black-and-white documentary he directed.
A win for the Snyder Bros
Congratulations to Zack Snyder's Army of The Dead who all gathered en masse online to predictably win Zack Snyder's movie Army of The Dead the #OscarsFanFavourite award. This is the popular vote award introduced this year to get Spider-Man 3 (v2.0) a win. The concept of this award was designed by people who haven't spent any time online for the past five years.
Former Oscar host speaks out
Dave Letterman stopped by the Internet to remind people about why his Oscars was superior to last nights...
Did anything not-the-Oscars happen in the past 24 hours? Sadly, yes...
The original cast of The Full Monty are reuniting for a new Disney+ TV show. The original cast will return for the show, which is already in production.
Always Be Watching notes that the current trend in television is for men to bare all. So, watch out, viewers.
- Pluto TV is launching a dedicated Stargate channel. Read: NextTV
- April 26 is when Piers Morgan Uncensored starts on Sky News Australia. I'm sure it debuts April 25 on other channels internationally, but if this sort of thing interests you, certainly feel free to look it up yourself. Read: Mediaweek
Welcome To Eden debuts on Netflix May 6.
Dirty Lines debuts on Netflix April 8.
Yakamoz S-245 debuts on Netflix April 20.
Only Murders In The Building season 2 debuts on Hulu June 28.
Gentleman Jack returns April 10 to the BBC and HBO.
That's it for today. More newsletter tomorrow.