What used to be the event of the year, attracting 30-55 million viewers, has suffered a major drop in viewership with only 15.4 million tuning in last night to watch the 94th edition of the Oscars.
These numbers, however, are an increase from last year’s 9.8 million viewers. Before this, no Oscars Award Show has ever seen its viewership drop below 20 million.
The only part of the live event that got the internet buzzing was Will Smith’s physical assault on comedian Chris Rock for making a lighthearted joke about his wife.
Before announcing the award for best documentary, Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, saying, “Jada, I love you – ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it, all right?” The 1997 film ‘G.I. Jane’ featured actress Demi Moore with a buzz-cut hairstyle, similar to that of Jada.
Jada has been vocal about her struggles with alopecia, a condition that causes the affected individual to lose their hair. Her reaction to Rock’s joke was to roll her eyes while her husband, Will appeared to be laughing.
Suddenly the tone changed as Smith walked up on stage and slapped Rock, immediately returning to his seat afterward. Smith then yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth!”
An uncomfortable silence fell over the star-studded audience as a stunned Chris Rock fumbled for his lines, trying to pick back up where he left off and get the show back on track.
Will Smith’s cuckold rage moment at the Oscars in its full, unedited and uncensored glory. pic.twitter.com/0y5ljWe8bY
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 28, 2022
Shortly after the incident, Will Smith won an Oscar for best actor for his role in “King Richard.” In his acceptance speech he was very emotional and apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees for his prior act of aggression, but not to Chris Rock.
He received a standing ovation when his Oscar win was announced… after assaulting someone on an internationally televised program that families and children are watching.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) March 28, 2022
While it is unclear whether the viewership spiked after news broke of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, the clips of the incident have certainly amassed a greater viewership than the awards show itself.
Will Smith’s outburst wasn’t the only thing that was bizarre about last night’s Oscars. Amy Schumer made bad joke after bad joke. Not only did Schumer make an uncomfortable joke about highly-awarded actress Kirsten Dunst being a “seat filler” but she also decided to chant “gay gay gay gay gay” in an obnoxious attempt to ‘bash’ Florida political leaders.
More awkward moments at the Oscars: Amy Schumer, with one of the most unfunny jokes of all time, moved Kirsten Dunst out of her seat, calling her a "seat filler," prompting husband Jesse Plemons to say "you know that was my wife?" pic.twitter.com/GrTKLH8dfa
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 28, 2022
Oscars: How can we collapse our ratings lower and get even more people to hate us?
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 28, 2022
The Oscars proved to be an uncomfortable, woke disaster, which seems to be the new norm.