For nearly a century now, the Academy Awards have been a night that people remember not only for the awards but also for the scandals. Will Smith slapping Chris Rock this year is one of the many jaw-dropping moments stemming from this night. Here is a rundown of a few such incidents in the history of Oscars.
The Wrong Envelope
It’s the kind of mistake that will haunt any award show producer their whole life. At the 2017 Oscars, presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were handed the wrong envelope and announced La La Land as the winner of Best Picture. After the film’s cast and crew gathered on stage and started their thank you speeches, the mix-up was realized and Moonlight was proclaimed as the real winner.
Honoring the Snitch
Elia Kazan was certainly deserving of the honorary Oscar he was awarded in 1999 but it didn’t mask the incident of 1952 when Kazan testified against his fellow industry members and saved himself by selling out others on the charge of having Communist links or influence. As nearly 250 demonstrators protested the win outside the venue that night, many attendees inside refrained from applauding the director.
The Kiss and the Absent Director
Emotionally overwhelming, The Pianist’s win at the Oscars was overshadowed by scandalous moments! The first was Best Actor winner Adrien Brody’s inappropriate decision to greet announcer Halle Berry with a wild kiss. Then for the same film, Roman Polanski won the Best Director but was absent, mainly because he was facing charges for his alleged involvement with a minor in 1977. This win raised many eyebrows, especially in the post #MeToo era, as Hollywood offered the director a wild round of applause.
The Name Game
It’s still a mystery how John Travolta introduced Idina Menzel as “Adele Dazeem” at the Oscars in 2014. Menzel simply dismissed the name flub and right after, wowed everybody with a rendition of her Best Song nominee “Let It Go” from Frozen. Menzel took her revenge the following year by introducing Travolta as “Glom Gazingo!”