Oscar controversies from Adrien Brody kissing Halle Berry to Will Smith's slap | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

Unforgettable Oscar controversies from Adrien Brody kissing Halle Berry to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

Mar 12, 2023 01:55 PM IST

From La La Land being announced as a wrong winner of the Best Picture award to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock last year, here are some of the unforgettable controversies that were created on Oscars stage.

Oscars is one of the most talked-about events. Arguably, a fair share of controversy is credited for making Hollywood's award show immensely popular over the years. Ahead of the 95th edition of the Academy Awards on March 13, let's revisit the biggest Oscar controversial moments of all time.

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars. (AP)(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars. (AP)(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Will Smith slapping incident

No one can forget the last year's Oscars. In 2022, Will Smith shocked everyone by slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage. Smith slapped Rock while the latter was presenting the best documentary feature category. Rock made a controversial joke about Will Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's bald head, which she shaved following an alopecia diagnosis. After backlash over his behaviour, Smith resigned from the Academy on April 1, writing in a statement, "I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken." The Academy has banned Smith for 10 years.


In 2017, the Oscars came to a shocking end when La La Land was declared the winner of Best Picture at the end of the broadcast by presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. In reality, Moonlight won the Best Picture award that year and the presenters had accidentally been given the envelope for the Best Actress winner (La La Land's Emma Stone). The live blunder was explained and the Moonlight team soon took the stage, where La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz handed them the statuette.

Marlon Brando's Award Refusal

Brando had decided to boycott the March 1973 Oscars in protest of how Native Americans were portrayed onscreen as well as to pay tribute to the ongoing occupation at Wounded Knee, in which 200 members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) faced off against thousands of U.S. marshals and other federal agents in the South Dakota town.

After presenters Liv Ullmann and Roger Moore listed the nominees for best actor and Ullmann called out Brando's name as the winner, the telecast cut to Littlefeather, then 26 and wearing a traditional Apache dress, walking to the stage from her seat at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as the announcer explained, "Accepting the award for Marlon Brando and The Godfather, Miss Sacheen Littlefeather."

Littlefeather, however, held up her right hand to decline the statuette proffered by Moore as she reached the podium and told the Chandler audience and the 85 million viewers watching at home that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award."

Adrien Brody kisses Halle Berry

While accepting his Oscar award for Best Actor for his role in The Pianist in 2003, Adrien Brody grabbed presenter Halle Berry and gave her a passionate kiss. In a 2017 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Berry revealed what was going on in her head at the moment, namely, "What the f--- is happening right now?" But having been swept up in her moment, Berry knew "the feeling of being out of your body" and "just f---ing went with it."

All White Nominees Lead to #OscarsSoWhite

In January 2015, the Oscar nominations were announced, revealing predominantly white nominees. This sparked April Reign to create the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, which went viral on Twitter.

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