Will Smith left the word reeling after dramatically storming on stage and slapping host Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife Jada’s bald head during last night’s Academy Awards ceremony.
But this isn’t the first time fans have been left shocked by the behavior of an A-list guest at the awards show, with an array of shocking and cringeworthy moments besetting the Oscars’ 93-year history.
One of the most recent controversies includes the erroneous announcement of La La Land over Moonlight as Best Picture in 2017, and Sacha Baron Cohen turning up with what he claimed were the ashes of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2012.
Other jaw-dropping moments include a streaker running across the stage in 1974 and when Adrien Brody grabbed Halle Berry and passionately kissed her after she announced he won an Oscar for Best Actor.
Here are the most shocking and controversial Oscars moments throughout the show’s history.
In 2000, the world was left baffled when Angelina Jolie shared a passionate kiss with her brother James Haven at that year’s Oscars.
The pair left onlookers gobsmacked as they smooched at the ceremony after a then-24-year-old Jolie won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Girl Interrupted.
During her Oscar acceptance speech Angelina famously said she is ‘just so in love with my brother right now.’
Later, at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, she and James were photographed sharing a kiss on the lips, which attracted worldwide publicity and subsequent incest jokes, which Angelina called ‘pathetic’.
‘First, we’re the best of friends. And it wasn’t some odd open-mouthed kiss. It was disappointing that something so beautiful and pure could be turned into a circus,’ she later told People.
James added: ‘It was an amazing moment. Yet it was totally misconstrued.’
He told Daily Mail in 2007: ‘I did not give Angie a French kiss. It was something simple and lovely.
‘She was about to go off to Mexico to finish filming Original Sin with Antonio Banderas. I congratulated her on the Oscar win and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. It was snapped and became a big thing.’
1974: Streaker Storms Stage
In 1974, American photographer and gay rights activist Robert Opel shocked the world by storming the Oscars stage completely naked.
The artist reportedly snuck backstage by pretending to be a journalist before stripping down and running naked past a stunned David Niven, who was introducing Elizabeth Taylor.
Niven broke into laughter as Opel flashed the audience and threw up a peace sign, before quipping: ‘Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen.
‘But isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?’
Speaking to press after the incident, Opel told reporters: ‘People shouldn’t be ashamed of being nude in public. Besides — it’s a hell of a way to launch a career.’
2017: Moonlight Mix-up
In 2017 The Best Picture award was incorrectly given to musical romcom La La Land before it was revealed that the winner was actually Moonlight – a film about a young African-American boy grappling with his identity and sexuality.
Fans and A-listers alike were left cringing in horror in 2017 after the evening’s highest honor was accidentally awarded to the wrong movie.
The Best Picture award was incorrectly given to musical romcom La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, before it was revealed that the winner was actually Moonlight – a film about a young African-American boy grappling with his identity and sexuality.
Announcers Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had accidentally been given the wrong envelope by accountants with PricewaterhouseCoopers, who tabulate the Academy’s voting.
In a heart-stopping moment, the stars and producers of La La Land were stopped midway through their acceptance speeches and forced to hand their trophies over to the stars of Moonlight.
As the La La Land cast were walking on stage to accept the accolade, a stagehand standing in the wings could reportedly be heard saying ‘Oh… Oh my god, he got the wrong envelope’.
While still on stage, Beatty blamed the mishap on being given the wrong envelope, saying he had seen the name Emma Stone from La La Land when he opened his envelope.
2003: Adrian Brody kisses Halle Berry
Actor Adrien Brody clasped host Halle Berry to him in a passionate embrace and planted a kiss on her lips after being presented the award for Best Actor in 2003
Another controversial moment in Oscars history came after actor Adrien Brody pulled host Halle Berry to him in a passionate embrace and planted a kiss on her lips after she presented him with the award for Best Actor in 2003.
After being handed the statuette for his role in The Pianist, the actor turned to Berry and said: ‘I bet they didn’t tell you that [kiss] was in the gift bag.’
Berry, who looked a little stunned by the encounter, was seen wiping her lips on stage, and later described the smooch as ‘wet’.
Recalling the moment during a television appearance in 2017, the actress revealed the kiss was not planned, and that her first thought when Brody grabbed her was ‘What the f**k is happening right now!’
When asked by TV host Andy Cohen whether the kiss was good, Berry replied ‘I don’t know. I was too focused on “What the f**k is going on right now?”‘
2012: Sacha Baron Cohen ‘spills Kim Jong-ils ashes’
Hollywood actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was escorted off the Oscars red carpet after a controversial publicity stunt to promote his film The Dictator in 2012.
The British star arrived at the swanky ceremony dressed in character as dictator General Aladeen claiming to be carrying an urn containing the ashes of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
While he was initially allowed to walk the ceremony in character, things took a turn when he tipped the ‘ashes’ over TV host Ryan Seacrest.
The interaction began with Seacrest asking Cohen: ‘Who are you wearing?’
Cohen replied gamely: ‘I’m wearing John Galliano, but the socks are from K-Mart! As Saddam Hussein once said to me, socks are socks, don’t waste money.’
But then he added: ‘I love it here because it gave me an opportunity to bring my dear friend and tennis partner, Kim Jong-il.
Then he appeared to stumble and poured the mixture – which turned out to be pancake mix – all over Seacrest’s Burberry suit – leading to the actor being escorted away shouting: ‘Now when people ask what you’re wearing, you will say Kim Jong-il!’
1973: Marlon Brando rejects Oscar
In 1973 Marlon Brando caused Academy outrage when he sent Californian Apache Sacheen Littlefeather to decline the Best Actor award he’d just won for his cult role in The Godfather.
Instead of going on stage to collect the award, the actor instead sent Native American civil rights activist Sacheen Littlefeather – who appeared in full Apache attire – in his place.
On stage she read out a letter from Brando informing the Academy he would not accept the award in protest against Hollywood’s depiction of Native Americans.
Her brief speech – which was limited to just 60 seconds – was met with a mix of boos and applause by the audience, while backstage afterwards she read out the 15-page speech Brando had prepared.
Brando became the second actor to decline his award after George C Scott, who told the Academy months in advance he would not accept the prize in 1970 on ‘philosophical grounds’.
2014: John Travolta woefully mispronounces Idina Menzel’s name
In 2014, John Travolta left fans cringing after a spectacular name fail while introducing musical theatre star Idina Menzel.
Travolta was introducing her performance at the Oscars and said: ‘Please welcome the wickedly talented, one and only Adele Dazeem.’
The Wicked star previously admitted that she was initially devastated by the mix up, convinced the moment had messed up her ‘big break.’
Speaking to James Corden on Carpool Karaoke for his Late Late Show she said: ‘First, I felt really sorry for myself, like Meryl Streep’s out there, this is my big break and he just f****d up my name.’
However she now sees the funny side of the mistake, revealing Travolta has apologised profusely for mispronouncing her name.
She said: ‘It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. [John has] written so many nice apologetic emails, sent flowers, he’s so kind, and to make up for it he would fly wherever at this point.
‘And I always just say, ‘No worries, because it was the best thing that ever happened to me!”.’
Travolta previously explained he got Idina’s name wrong because the Oscars staff had changed her name to a phonetic spelling, and that he became ‘starstruck’ by Goldie Hawn.
1995: David Letterman’s Oprah or Uma joke
Talk show host David Letterman presented the award ceremony in 1995, with his performance becoming what The Atlantic would later describe as ‘the gold standard of Oscar bombing’.
Joking about the unusual first names of Uma Thurman and Oprah Winfrey, Letterman’s gag where he introduced the two women to each other baffled the audience into silence.
He kicked off the show by saying: ‘I’ve been dying to do something all day and I think maybe we can take care of it’.
He then proceeded to ‘introduce’ the Hollywood A-listers saying: ‘Oprah? Uma. Uma? Oprah. I feel much better. Have you kids met Keanu?’
The New York Times wrote shortly after the awkward performance: ‘Mr Letterman has a questionable mid-America habit of ridiculing names, including those of everyone from immigrant cab drivers to store owners called Mujibur and Sirajul.
‘Opening the awards ceremony, he zeroed in on Oprah (Winfrey) and Uma (Thurman), but quickly discovered that the audience found the routine somewhat less than amusing, even when he frantically added Keanu (Reeves).’
2019: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s very passionate duet
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s electrifying chemistry during their performance of Shallow at the 2019 Academy Awards sent viewers into a frenzy.
The pair – who were starring opposite each other in A Star Is Born – were told to ‘get a room’ by social media users after a duet that saw them gaze into each other’s eyes in a hot and heavy performance. While Lady Gaga was newly single at the time, Bradley’s then wife Irina Shayk – who he split from later that year – watched on in the audience.
The pair – who were starring opposite each other in A Star Is Born – were told to ‘get a room’ by social media users after a duet that saw them gaze into each others eyes in a hot and heavy performance.
While Lady Gaga was newly single at the time, Bradley’s then girlfriend Irina Shayk – who he split from later that year – watched on in the audience.
The American Sniper star’s ex-wife, Jennifer, weighed in on Bradley and Gaga’s performance after comedian David Spade joked about it on Instagram.
He had written: ‘Is there any chance these 2 aren’t f***ing?’ alongside a picture taken from his TV set of the two performing. Jennifer replied: ‘Ha!’.
2013: Jennifer Lawrence falls as she accepts Best Actress award
Jennifer Lawrence became one of the youngest ever people to get the Best Actress Gong at the 2013 Oscars – but her historic win was quickly overshadowed as she fell down on her way to collect the award.
The star – who won the accolade for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, was seen momentarily hanging her head in her hands after her voluminous strapless Dior Haute Couture gown caused the mishap on the steps.
Both Jennifer’s Silver Linings Playbook co-star Bradley Cooper and her X-Men: First Class co-star Hugh Jackman were seen rushing to the actress’ rescue, but Jennifer was quick to rectify the situation, declining any help as she picked herself up and continued to accept the award.
1969: Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn tie for Best Actress
In 1969, Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn both received exactly 3,030 votes, meaning they tied for Best Actress. The Academy decided to have the two actresses split the gong, with Hepburn winning for Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter, while Streisand won for her debut in Funny Girl.
However, Hepburn didn’t attend the ceremony, so Barbara accepted alone.
1971: George C. Scott rejects his award for Best Actor
Legendary actor George C. Scott told the Academy he would reject any nomination for his role in 1971’s Patton, because he didn’t like the ideas of creative performances being compared. However, he was nominated and went on to win the award. As he decided to skip the ceremony and stay at home in New York instead, producer Frank McCarthy came on stage to accept the award.
He had previously been nominated twice as Best Supporting Actor, in 1959′s ‘Anatomy of a Murder’ and ‘The Hustler’ in 1961. Both times he asked the academy to reject his awards.
1936: Screenwriter Dudley Nichols rejects his Oscar
The first person to was Dudley Nichols, who won the Best Screenwriter award for writing The Informant.
He refused the award in solidarity with the Writers Guild, who was striking at the time.
The Academy refused to Screen Writers’ Guild and other unions and opposed independent unions.
On two occasions, the Academy posted him the award, but he sent it back both times.
2016: No black nominees leads to boycott and #OscarsSoWhite campaign
The lack of a single nomination for a black actor in 2015 led to the #OscarsSoWhite social media movement. When history repeated itself in 2016, many actors were angry with Will Smith and Jada among the industry figures boycotting the awards. Chris Rock, who was the host that year, made a 10-minute-long speech venting people’s frustrations.
Chris Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith isn’t his first Oscar controversy.
He joked ‘you do realise, if they nominated a host, I wouldn’t even get this job’.
2019: No host after Kevin Hart stepped down following resurgence of homphobic tweets
There was no host at the Oscars for the first time in 30 years in 2019 after Kevin Hart was forced to quit following the resurfacing of a series of homophobic tweets.
Presenting duties at the 91st Academy Awards show were shared among 13 stars including Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Daniel Craig and Jennifer Lopez.
This came after tweets dated from 2009 to 2011 surfaced in which the comedian spewed blatant anti-gay rhetoric.
In 2011, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet: ‘Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ”stop that’s gay.”
The comedian has since deleted the tweets, but that wasn’t before screen captures began circulating online, gaining widespread criticism. (DailyMail)