Daniel Radcliffe declared that he was “dramatically bored” with hearing about Will Smith smacked Chris Rock at the Oscars, and he does have a point. That doesn’t mean, however, that people will stop talking about it anytime soon. We’ve heard countless celebrity/artist weigh-ins, including the strange take of noted hothead Alec Baldwin likening the incident to the Jerry Springer Show. And more takes are coming for sure, as people (including Rock) continue to process the very unordinary Oscars incident.
A notable reaction follows how Smith, who may or may not have been asked by the Academy to leave the premises, went on to accept the Best Actor award for King Richard. He then proceeded to give a weepy speech in which he referenced the act of defending his family out of love. And that doesn’t sit too well with Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar (Pain and Glory, Talk to Her, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), who’s notched a few Oscar wins over the years. Almodóvar wrote an essay for IndieWire about his experiences at Sunday night’s ceremony. And he’s not thrilled with Will’s speech, which he thought felt cult-like in its phrasing:
What I saw and heard produced a feeling of absolute rejection in me. Not only during the episode, but afterward, too, in the acceptance speech — a speech that seemed more like that of a cult leader. You don’t defend or protect the family with your fists, and no, the devil doesn’t take advantage of key moments to do his work.
(None of this will stop those Scientology rumors, obviously.)
Almodóvar went on to call Will’s speech “fundamentalist” and of a nature that “we should neither hear nor see.” He laments that this event has overshadowed the winners of the night, and he then characterizes social media as “the faceless monster” for embracing the discussion and being “avid for carrion.” Of course, Almodóvar himself is contributing to the discussion as well, so this is all very circular. And he expresses a wish that people will go back to movies, which (of course) would include the approximately 550,000 people who tuned into the broadcast as soon as the smack happened. The dilemmas, they just won’t stop, and nor will the Smith-Rock discussion.