TheGrio highlights some of the most unforgettable moments of the 2022 Academy Awards, including the smack heard around the world.
The 94th annual Academy Awards was full of unforgettable moments.
Coda, a heartwarming film featuring deaf actors, won Best Picture and one of its stars won Best Supporting Actor. DJ D-Nice provided amazing transition music for the first hour, playing jams from The Bee Gees, Brothers Johnson, Lupe Fiasco, and Earth, Wind and Fire. The show’s “In Memoriam” segment was blessed with a touch of gospel music to honor the year’s departed creatives.
Onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, (from left) show co-host Regina Hall and presenters Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa share a memorable moment. (Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Sunday’s Academy Awards production, live from the Dolby Theatre, featured a diverse array of presenters and guests, from DJ Khaled to Jill Scott. The crowd witnessed special anniversary tributes to Pulp Fiction, White Men Can’t Jump, and The Godfather, the James Bond/007 franchise … oh, and a few other things happened.
TheGrio has highlighted five of the biggest moments of the 2022 Academy Awards.
Beyonce Opens from Compton Tennis Court
The biggest night in Hollywood began with one of the biggest artists in the world giving an epic performance. The 28-time Grammy Award winner sang her Oscar-nominated “Be Alive,” from King Richard, remotely from the Compton tennis court where Venus and Serena Williams played as kids. Accompanied by a full orchestra and a myriad of braid-blessed dancers, Beyonce’s performance was particularly regal, setting a high bar for a special evening.
Regina Hall’s Thirsty Jokes
The Oscars were co-hosted by Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall, and while all of them got their jokes in, it was Hall who got the most memorable laughs. The comedic actress poked fun at being single and used the ceremony as an excuse to get closer to some of the eligible bachelors in the room.
She joked that some attendees’ COVID-19 tests went missing and called Bradley Cooper, Timothée Chalamet, Tyler Perry and Simu Liu to join her onstage. She then hilariously implied getting into intimate encounters with the men in the guise of a re-test. Later, she padded down both Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin while they were presenting an award.
Megan Thee Stallion Doesn’t Talk About ‘Bruno’
Although Encanto’s “Dos Oruguitas” was nominated for Best Original Song at the Oscars, the real draw was the movie’s surprise hit, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” Both songs were performed at the Oscars, but during the latter, a surprise guest appeared in the form of Megan Thee Stallion.
After the film’s voice actors sang the first verse of the song, Megan appeared to do an original rap. The three-time Grammy winner rhymed about the award show in her verse, giving the already-big hit some fresh life. Becky G and Luis “Despacito” Fonsi were also on hand for the performance. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the first song from a Disney film to achieve that feat since Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” in 1992.
Questlove Wins Oscar for Summer of Soul
One of the most triumphant moments of the evening was the announcement of the Best Documentary Feature award. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, bandleader and drummer of The Roots, won the award for Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), the acclaimed documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. This was Thompson’s directorial debut.
Thompson was overcome with emotion during his acceptance speech. The five-time Grammy winner fought back tears while acknowledging his mother and late father, the category’s other nominated films, and the people of Harlem during his speech. “This is not about me,” he said. “This is about marginalized people in Harlem that needed to heal from pain.”
Will Smith Attacks Chris Rock Over Jada Joke
Chris Rock (left) and Will Smith (right) are seen onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
On a night full of funny, inspiring and historic moments, the 94th Academy Awards ceremony may forever be remembered for the smack heard around the world: Will Smith went onstage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Making his way back to his seat, he yelled at Rock twice to “keep my wife’s name out your f**king mouth.”
This immediately put tension into the roomful of celebrities, as Rock went on to present the Best Documentary Feature award. Smith would later win Best Actor for his role in King Richard, and he addressed the incident during his speech. “Art imitates life. I looked like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams,” Smith said. “But love will make you do crazy things.”
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