5 standout moments from Hollywood’s biggest night – and it's not just Will Smith going viral at the Oscars

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This year’s Oscars went viral for more reasons than one. (PHOTO: Getty Images/AFP)
This year’s Oscars went viral for more reasons than one. (PHOTO: Getty Images/AFP)

From a klap heard around the world to a growing call for Keith Urban to fire his hairstylist with immediate effect, the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony was one for the books.

We take a look at some of the night’s standout moments.

The unexpected slap that had been a long time coming

Whether you were in the auditorium or watching the viral video clip from more than 14 000km away – the unease that hung in the Dolby Theatre after actor Will Smith rushed to the stage to slap comedian Chris Rock was palpable.

Chris (57), who hosted the evening, had taken a dig at Jada Pinkett-Smith’s bald head, a result of her battle with alopecia.

Will’s reaction to the joke shocked viewers, but what some may not know is his feud with Chris started back in 2016.

The moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. (PHOTO: Getty Images/AFP)

At the 2016 Oscars Chris poked fun at Jada, suggesting she had not been invited to the awards, even though she had said she was boycotting the ceremony in support of the Oscars So White movement.

“Jada got mad, said she’s not coming,” Chris said. “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”

He also quipped about Will’s role in the 1999 Western film Wild Wild West.

“You get mad. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated.

“It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West.”

The beef between the two picked up again in 2018 when Chris commented on an Instagram post in which Will (53) wished his ex-wife, Sheree Zampino, on her birthday.

In the post, Will called Sheree, with whom he shares his son Trey, the “best baby mamma ever”.

“Wow. You have a very understanding wife,” Chris responded. To which Sheree replied: “Don’t hate”.

Give that man a haircut

Forget the heat Keith Urban’s stylist applied to his perfectly straightened hair – social media users wasted no time in roasting the musician’s tresses.

Keith walked the red carpet with his wife of 16 years, Nicole Kidman, who stunned in a custom Giorgio Armani Privé strapless gown, but it was Keith’s hair that stole the show.

“Why does Keith Urban’s hairstylist hate him so much?” one viewer quipped on Twitter.

keith urban
Social media users poked fun at Keith Urban's hairstyle. Here he's pictured with wife Nicole Kidman. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Another added: “I don’t know which I find more adorable: Keith Urban’s commitment to Nicole Kidman or his commitment to that haircut.”

Making history for all the right reasons 

Ariana DeBose became the first Afro-Latina and openly queer actor to win an award.

She bagged the golden statuette in the supporting actress category for her role in West Side Story.

Ariana DeBose accepts her award for best supporting actress. (PHOTO: Getty Images/AFP)

“Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. Look into her eyes: You see a queer, openly queer woman of colour, an Afro-Latina who found her strength in life through art. And that is, I think, what we’re here to celebrate,” Ariana said in her acceptance speech.

“So if anyone has ever questioned your identity or you find yourself living in the grey spaces, I promise you this – there is indeed a place for us.”

Another first for the awards show was the Apple TV+ drama CODA winning best picture. Not only was it the first time Hollywood’s top award went to a streaming service, it’s also the first film with a mostly deaf cast to win in that category.

Troy Kotsur became the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar. (PHOTO: Getty Images/AFP)

Troy Kotsur, who stars in the movie, won best supporting actor, making him the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar.

“This is for the deaf community, the CODA [children of deaf adults] community and the disabled community,” Kotsur said, signing from the stage.

“This is our moment.”

Bey is back with a banger  

Two years after her last live performance, Beyoncé was back on stage to open the awards with a pre-recorded tennis-themed performance of her song Be Alive, from the movie King Richard, the story of Serena and Williams’ father, Richard, and their rise to tennis stardom.

Be Alive was nominated for best original song, but the Oscar went to Billie Eilish for the James Bond theme song, No Time to Die.

Regina Hall’s on-stage dating 

Forget online dating – Regina Hall used the global stage of the Oscars to take her shot.

After telling the world she was single, Regina jokingly announced that some of the attendees – including some of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelors – would have to retake their Covid-19 tests.

“Unfortunately, some of the test results have gotten lost,” she said. “We just have to do some quick emergency testing backstage. Don’t worry. It’s only a few people. It’s totally random.”

Bradley Cooper, Timothée Chalamet, Tyler Perry and Simu Liu were a few of the names she read off a list.

Regina Hall on stage with her crushes (from left to right) Simu Liu, Bradley Cooper, Tyler Perry and Timothée Chalamet. (PHOTO: Getty Images/AFP)

“I don’t want any of you to worry,” she continued.

“You’ll come backstage, take your mask off, if you have one, and your clothes.

“I’m going to swab the back of your mouth with my tongue. And we’re just gonna to do some other freaky stuff, which I will record for Academy protocol. Really, this isn’t up to me.”


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