The Oscars 2022


An unforgettable night at the 2022 Oscars, include win “firsts”, a tribute to Ukraine, and Will Smith’s altercation with Chris Rock. 

By Lauren Cali 
March 29, 2022

This year’s Academy Awards, already ripe with controversy, still has everyone buzzing 24-hours later. Before the awards started on March 27th, there was a backlash over the pre-taping of eight categories. Also, there was the continuing discussion about diversity at the awards over year’s past. Unfortunately, the Academy missed the mark more than ever with only a dismal 23% win for women, the lowest in four years according to The Wrap . Although there were only 10 wins for women, some of these wins were big “firsts'. 

Wins and Firsts 

Ariana DeBose, best known for role as Anita in West Side Story, has become the first queer woman of color to win an acting Oscar, and is the second actress playing Anita to win an Oscar - Deadline reports


It’s been 35 years since Marlie Matlin became the first deaf actor to win an Oscar for her role in Children of a Lesser God , opposite William Hurt. Troy Kotsure broke the drought and made history as the first deaf man to win an Academy Award for acting. Troy's emotional heartfelt speech dedicated to his father can be found here


Director Jane Campion made history, becoming the first woman to win the best director award in back-to-back years - Deadline reports


Actress Jessica Chastain won her first Oscar for best lead actress. Jessica’s powerful speech touched on current issues. In part of her speech, she said, “we’re faced with discriminatory and bigoted legislation that is sweeping our country with the only goal of further dividing us. There’s violence and hate crimes being perpetuated on innocent civilians all over the world. In times like this, I think of Tammy and I’m inspired by her radical acts of love. I’m inspired by her compassion. I see it as a guiding principle that moves us forward.” Her full speech can be viewed here

Not only were actors and actresses achieving firsts, but so did a streaming service. Apple not only became the first to win an Academy Award for best picture, but took home three Oscars for CODA

Cinematography nominee Ari Wegner is on the verge of greatness, becoming the 2nd female in 94 years to be nominated for an Oscar. As a dominantly male profession, cinematography is starting to change - The Wrap reports.  

The full list of winners can be found here

Ukraine 

On the red carpet, celebrities sported blue ribbons in support of Ukraine. According to Variety , these ribbons are part of a larger campaign, #withrefugees. During the broadcast , a moment of silence was held, as well, to show support. 

Will Smith 

Before Chris Rock was set to present the award for best documentary, he delivered a joke regarding Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness. After the remark was made, Will Smith walked on stage and slapped Rock in defense of his wife. Once seated, the two had a fiery exchange muted for the viewing audience. Shortly after the altercation, Smith received his first Oscar and made a tearful acceptance speech, which can be viewed here . The Academy also released a statement , “The Academy does not condone violence of any form.” 

Conversations 
Hot topics of conversation included the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Jessica Chastain said in an interview
“I think it’s important to take a stand against discriminatory, bigoted legislation. It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter what your company is. I think anything that is discriminatory, that makes one group feel separate from the whole is unloving, and needs to have a very quick and swift stance against.”
Jessica Darrow also spoke on the red carpet and said in an interview
“I’m trying to show up for everyone who may see themselves in a similar position as me, anyone who feels the same way that I do, and I want to let you know that it’s totally OK to be you. I’m trying my hardest to stay authentically me, Disney has let me do that so far. Sometimes I feel like I’m alt-Disney with my tattoos and short hair.” 
Tributes 
Sidney Poitier received a tribute before and after the Oscars. His daughter marked her father’s legacy - Deadline reports. Betty White and Ivan Reitman also received tributes. Heartfelt words about these three amazing actors can be read here .  

In Memoriam 
Hollywood lost amazing talent. The Oscars in memoriam segment can be viewed here . All of these legendary talents will be greatly missed. 



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Lauren Cali writes the weekly entertainment industry news blog for Productions.com. She’s a Social Media Specialist and a graduate of Elmhurst College.