Schuppel’s Scoop: the absurdity of the 2022 Oscars

Claire Schuppel, Arts & Life Editor

As some of you frequenters of the Schuppel’s Scoop may know, I am not a fan of many of the major award shows. I’ve previously written about how I believe subjectivity is thrown out the window with these awards. I was hoping for a promising year for the Academy Awards, but I came out blown away at the events of the night.

Hosts Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes. (Art Streiber via Getty Images)

The hosts of the evening (Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall) did not do as much damage as I had anticipated, but there were still major issues in some segments. Tasteless jokes were made, most notably with Hall’s “COVID pat down” involving sexual harassment towards Josh Brolin and others. Many have commented on the double standard of the joke, as people often disregard the fact that sexual harassment can hurt men as well. 

Schumer made a “throwaway remark” about Ukraine, saying “There’s a genocide going on in Ukraine and women are losing all their rights … and trans people.” Many were mad that the topic wasn’t taken more seriously or with action in mind, as the Oscars can be a large platform for awareness. Instead of making a pledge to donate money or contribute, the ceremony had a brief moment of silence, followed by a suggestion for the viewers to take action. Paired with a commercial break following abruptly afterwards, it left a bad impression.

Another frustrating aspect of this year’s awards pertains to the omission of the live announcement of eight categories, including Best Original Score in particular. It was done to prioritize engagement and cut the runtime down. Original score struck a chord with many audience members because it was Hans Zimmer’s first win since 1994, despite being one of the best film composers in the industry. Not only does this highlight the Academy’s priorities in showing the most known faces for the live categories, but it was entirely hypocritical with their runtime. The show ran 39 minutes past their scheduled time, which is the longest Oscars since 2018. 

The ‘In Memoriam’ segment of the show this year was also a hot topic of conversation for audiences. People were frustrated with the omitted names, especially since the segment was paired with dancing and focused on specific individuals like Betty White and Sidney Poitier. While the individual dedications were touching, Bob Saget, Ed Asner and Norm MacDonald were just a few names left out that fans noticed

Will Smith and Chris Rock. (Lee Celano/WireImage)

Let me finally address the elephant in the room: Will Smith and Chris Rock’s tiff, or the only thing audiences cared to discuss after the ceremony. I won’t get into the details of the incident (as it has been shoved in our faces for the past few days), but it ended in Smith hitting Rock and swearing at him, leaving the entirety of the theater silent. There has been controversy surrounding whether or not Smith’s Best Actor award should be taken away, but I believe there would be many more individuals that should have their Oscars revoked before him (looking towards the Roman Polanskis and Woody Allens of the industry). This incident is the prime example of what made the Oscars so laughable this year: they completely affected the prestige and seriousness of the Academy establishment, along with Hollywood as a whole. 

The Academy Awards have always been regarded highly for their prestigiousness by audiences ranging from industry professionals to casual movie viewers at home. The events of the 2022 Oscars have done nothing but tarnish the image of the Academy — along with the entirety of the film industry. If the most sought after award is paired with a dramatic and controversial ceremony, what merit does an Academy Award hold? 

We haven’t passed the point of no return on the legitimacy of the Oscars. No one will ever be completely happy with the results of the winners (as I was rooting for “Licorice Pizza”), but it is possible to agree on the quality of the ceremony. We have recently seen many less than satisfactory ceremonies from the Oscars. With the necessary adjustments and proper conduct, we can finally get back to the seriousness that the awards had before; just leave the drama for the after parties.