A sad night for the Academy Awards

We at Face Activities enjoy the Academy Awards, and feel it’s an important cultural and artistic event, not just for the U.S. film industry, but also for the world. Unfortunately an incident occurred that marred this year’s celebration, which we want to address.

Will Smith, angered by a thoughtless joke the emcee, comedian Chris Rock, made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, jumped up on stage and struck Rock, and later shouted obscenities.

The audience was stunned, as were many viewers at home and around the world. This act of violence was unacceptable, unnecessary, and should never have happened. It was in fact a shameful and unfortunate incident staining the history of the Academy Awards.

Though clearly Rock hit a nerve with his joke, there’s a long standing tradition at the Oscar’s for emcees to joke about the celebrity guests, and it’s generally taken in good humor. 

Will Smith’s violent outburst is a terrible example to set for kids and the public at large. And to be absolutely clear, his actions were illegal, and he’s lucky he won’t be held legally responsible, mostly because Chris Rock chose not to file a police report.

Will Smith won an Academy Award that night, 40 minutes after the assault, for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Venus and Sarena Williams’ father (and coach for many years.) It was a strong performance, worthy of recognition. 

But sadly, the violence showcased that evening took away from what should have been a very special moment, a triumphant moment, for the tennis stars, who had labored for years to get this ground-breaking film made.

Smith has subsequently apologized, which of course was the correct thing to do. It remains to be seen what action the academy will take, if any, but in large part the damage has already been done. 

We hope for better days for the academy, and expect better of Will Smith in years to come.

Tonight: The Academy Awards!

How did the Academy Awards Start?

Viewers can stream the 2021 Oscars through the ABC app.

You can live stream the 93rd Academy Awards by visiting the ABC website, or by downloading the ABC app.

The app is available on all major streaming platforms, including Roku, Google Play, and Apple.

Tonight is an interesting and innovative presentation that allows for a live show with links from around the world while still staying Covid-19 safe, with vaccinated guests.

Find out more about tonight’s show, who’s nominated, and more by clicking right here.

History of the Event

The Academy Awards (officially rebranded as “The Oscars” in 2013) originated in 1929, as a means to acknowledge outstanding achievement in the motion picture industry.

There was a small, private dinner ceremony on May 16, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California—under 300 people attended. An after-party at the Mayfair Hotel followed the main ceremony. Fifteen artists, directors and film-industry professionals were honored, but in contrast to later ceremonies, the winners had already been announced to the press three months earlier.

The tradition of the surprise reveal started with the second awards ceremony, in 1930, and the sealed envelope was introduced in 1941, after a newspaper leaked the news prematurely (the papers were given winning names early, with the agreement that they wouldn’t publish until 11:00 pm the night of the big event.)

The first Best Actor award went to Emil Jannings, for “The Last Command” and “The Way of All Flesh.” It’s interesting to note that the early awards were given for all the work done by the recipient during the qualifying period, unlike modern awards, which are typically given for one specific film project. Life time achievement awards are one exception to this modern trend.

Another difference of interest to film enthusiasts pertains to the Foreign Film category. Foreign films were honored with special achievement awards until 1957, at the 29th Academy Awards Ceremony, when the Foreign Film Category was added to the repertoire.

To date nearly three thousand Oscar statuettes have been awarded to a wide range of film professionals and personalities.

While the Oscars honor outstanding achievement in motion pictures, the following major awards honor outstanding achievement in other entertainment and media venues:

  • Grammy Awards – Music industry
  • Emmy Awards – Television
  • Tony Awards – Stage Performance

Watch Academy Awards – 8:30 pm ET (Red Carpet: 7 pm)

Watch Academy Awards - 8:30 pm ET (Red Carpet: 7 pm)

Tonight’s Academy Awards, hosted once again by late night talk show host and funny man Jimmy Kimmel, should be very entertaining, with La La Land in position for a major sweep of the awards–maybe!

This year online viewing is tricky without a subscription to a cable or online television service. Here are a few options that you may find helpful when trying to view the Academy Awards tonight:

Watch Academy Awards (ABC – need subscription, not available in all markets)


Watch on Hulu – Free Trial for New Subscribers (Hulu.com)


Helpful links for watching Oscars on a device in certain locations (TheVerge.com)

Tips for watching internationally

Oscars – Red Carpet Arrivals