Night of the Academy Awards ceremony is considered one of the biggest movie awards nights in the world of cinema and a major event of Hollywood that witnesses historic wins and sets significant records. This star-studded elaborate extravaganza is filled with much glitz, glamour and excitement starting from red carpet moments, interviews and fashion statements of celebrities, live musical performances, to awards presentations and emotional acceptance speeches and much more. A feeling of suspense, curiosity and avidity prevails among both the high-profile celebrities and the cinephiles as the night progresses and name of winner in each category is announced.
A reason for initiating the Academy Awards was to bring together the five original sections of film industry - actors, directors, producers, writers and technicians thereby encouraging spirit of professionals associated with it. The ceremony is usually held in late-February or early-March, six weeks after names of nominees are announced. It is a live televised major high-profile celebrity event presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It honors artistic and technical excellence and achievements of professionals in the American and international film industry by conferring them with the Oscar statuettes that are presented in different categories with the Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay categories being considered the five most important ones.
The Academy Awards ceremony is the longest-running entertainment awards show that is viewed by millions worldwide. This much-awaited mega event is celebrated in a grand manner at the Dolby Theatre (formerly called Kodak Theatre), one of the world’s biggest and technologically advanced entertainment venues, located in Los Angeles, California. Eminent film personalities are invited to grace the event, who make their grand entry walking up the red carpet that with time has become a famous attraction spot of the night. Over the years noted personalities have hosted the event including Douglas Fairbanks Sr., a co-founder and first president of AMPAS, American comedian, actor, entertainer, and producer Bob Hope, American singer and actor Frank Sinatra and American actor, comedian, and filmmaker Billy Crystal. The Oscar nights have also witnessed some great performances like that of Elton John performing Can You Feel The Love Tonight from The Lion King in 1995; Adele performing Skyfall from Skyfall in 2013; and Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell performing No Time To Die from No Time To Die in 2022.
The Oscar night with its inescapable charm stands as a testament of how the AMPAS has come forward in embracing and honoring Hollywood and World Cinema thus celebrating the spirit of cinema by acknowledging and honoring hard work, dedication, creativity and talent of professionals involved in all facets of filmmaking thereby boosting their careers for future endeavors. The statuette, considered by many as the most prestigious honor received in the field of cinema, marks as a symbol of pride and glory for the winners garnering them international recognition and repute.
Some Oscar Night Incidents that Caught Widespread Attention
The otherwise popular Oscar event has also seen instances where noted film personalities have boycotted the event and declined to accept their awards. The first among them was screenwriter and film director Dudley Nichols, a co-founder of Screen Writers Guild (SWG), who boycotted it in 1936 and refused to accept the Best Writing award for The Informer because of dispute between SWG and AMPAS. The award was later received by him during the 1938 Oscar ceremony. Legendary actors George C. Scott and Marlon Brando also refused their Best Actor awards for Patton in 1971 and The Godfather in 1973 respectively.
American photographer and art gallery owner Robert Opel stole the show in 1974 by streaking across the stage displaying a peace sign with his hand as host David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor. Some sources mention that this stunt that gained Opel overnight fame was aided by producer of the show Jack Haley, Jr.
In 2022, actor, rapper and film producer Will Smith walked to the stage and slapped stand-up comedian, actor and filmmaker Chris Rock across the face after the latter joked about Smith’s wife, actress and talk show host Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, comparing it with that of Demi Moore’s in the action drama film G.I. Jane. Jada was diagnosed with alopecia areata and had been shaving her hair from 2021. After attacking Rock on stage, who was presenting the Best Documentary Feature award, Smith went back to his seat and warned Rock twice. Smith later apologized to AMPAS and other nominees while delivering his acceptance speech after receiving Best Actor award that night; and again to the organization and Rock via social media on the following day. Smith also resigned as member of AMPAS four days after the incident. A week later AMPAS banned him from attending the Oscars for ten years.