The Oscars 2022: A Night to Remember (No, Not for the Reason You’re Thinking Of)

Soraya Bettencourt, Herald Reporter

On March 27, celebrities took to the red carpet and awaited the results of the 2022 Academy Awards. The most talked about part of the event was the conflict between Chris Rock and Will Smith. The internet has blown up about the slap that Smith delivered to Rock onstage after Rock made a tasteless joke about Smith’s wife. I bring this up not because the news needs any other means by which to spread, but because it is the elephant in an otherwise very successful Oscars room. The events of the night and all the talented artists who were involved are overshadowed by this celebrity blow-up. While we can debate all day long who was right or wrong and what should have happened, I think time is better spent celebrating the amazing artists who made history that night through their work.

The show was hosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes. The three made history as the first-ever trio of female comedians to host the Oscars. Schumer made a comment in the opening monologue saying that the academy “hired three women to host because it was cheaper than paying one male.” This brought awareness to the gender pay gap and made women having a voice at the Oscars all the more central.

“CODA” won Best Picture and also brought in a Best Supporting Actor win for Troy Kostur. “CODA,” which stands for Child of Deaf Adults, follows Ruby, the only hearing member of her family, while she struggles between helping her family and her passion for singing. The movie was highlighted for its work in increasing awareness surrounding the deaf community and the importance of American Sign Language (ASL). It became the first movie from a streaming service (in this case Apple TV) to win an Oscar. Troy Kostur is also the first-ever deaf male to win an Oscar. His co-star, Marlin Matlin, became the first (and so far, only other) deaf artist to win an Oscar years ago for her role in another film.

Ariana DeBose took home the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Anita “West Side Story.” She made history as the first openly queer woman to win an Oscar. She also is only the second Latina woman to win– the first was Rita Moreno, coincidentally honored for the same role in the original film.

Riz Ahmed and Aneil Karia won Best Live-Action Short Film for “The Long Goodbye” and, in doing so, Ahmed became the first-ever male of Muslim descent to win an Oscar.

Some other significant winners include Disney’s “Encanto” for Best Animated Feature, Billie Elish and her brother Finneas with “No Time to Die” for Best Original Song and Jessica Chastain, who won her very first Oscar for the title role in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”

This year’s ceremony was all around one of the more eventful in the event’s history, but enough cannot be said about all the artists who made such a positive impact at the 2022 Oscars.