Hollywood’s Hot Takes: Top 3 Controversial Oscar Moments

A night of glamour, glamor, and occasionally controversy is the Oscars. There’s a moment that stuns listeners in every touching acceptance speech. Here’s a look back at three of the Oscar scandals that generated the greatest excitement and were widely discussed:

1. The Slap Heard Round the World (2022)

It doesn’t really need an introduction. When host Chris Rock joked about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald hairdo in 2022, tensions erupted. Taking offense, Will Smith stormed onto the platform and gave a startling smack in real time on television. Dubbed “Slapgate,” the incident provoked a plethora of discussions on toxic masculinity, free speech, and Hollywood pressures. Smith was handed a 10-year suspension by the Academy in retaliation, making this incident a permanent black mark on the history of the Oscars.

2. Marlon Brando’s Podium Protest (1973)

The 1973 Best Actor award Marlon Brando received for “The Godfather” was everything but traditional. Sacheen Littlefeather, a Native activist, was dispatched to decline the prize on his behalf rather than accept it personally. Littlefeather spoke out against how Native Americans are portrayed in Hollywood movies using her platform. Even though it was sent decades ago, Brando’s silent protest still makes a strong point about the Oscars being used for social commentary.

3. The Envelope Mishap of 2017

Imagine waiting years for your Oscar moment, only to have it snatched away due to a human error. That’s the nightmare that unfolded in 2017. Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced “La La Land” as Best Picture, when the true winner was “Moonlight.” The chaotic few minutes that followed, with acceptance speeches cut short and awards awkwardly exchanged, were a lesson in live TV mishaps and the importance of double-checking those envelopes!

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