There are officially five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall, and award season. The Oscars are where the cream of the crop in filmmaking get recognized for their hard work. It is broadcast in 255 countries with an estimated viewership of over 65 million people. With the cameras rolling and the eyes of the world on you, peoples nerves can get the better of them.
Here is a list of the 21 most awkward Oscar moments.
1. It was a big night for Angelina Jolie when she won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “Girl Interrupted”. Unfortunately, it was overshadowed by a kiss on the lips she shared with her brother James Haven while they were on the red carpet. As if it couldn’t get more awkward, she stated this in her acceptance speech, “I’m so in love with my brother right now.”
2. What happens when you get nominated for an Academy Award, and have to attend it with your creative partner, who you are currently engaged in a lawsuit with? We got to find out at the 82nd Academy Awards, where producers Elinor Burkett and Roger Ross William’s, who were engaged in a bitter court case over disagreements on the film, attended together. Not so bad, well, they won!
They both awkwardly went on stage to accept the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject for their film “Music by Prudence”. To make matters worse, while on stage Burkett interrupted William’s during his speech by saying ,”The man never lets the woman talk. Isn’t that just the classic thing?”
3. Nothing makes a situation more awkward than unexpected nudity. No one knows this more than David Niven, the host of the 46th Academy Awards. He was on stage about to introduce Elizabeth Taylor when a mysterious naked man, later identified as Robert Opel, ran out from backstage.
The incident backfired on the man when Niven quickly responded, “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?”
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4. Tom Hanks is America’s sweetheart, but even sweethearts have their awkward moments. Hanks had his biggest flub during his acceptance speech for Best Actor for his work in the film “Philadelphia.” He gave a literal shout-OUT to his high school drama teacher as one of “the finest gay Americans I have known.”
5. “I’m not a boxer, but I play one in a movie.”
The magic of cinema allows actors to enter into a world they would never normally belong to, but what happens when an actor is challenged to be that character in everyday life. Sylvester Stallone got to find out while presenting the award for Best Supporting Actress during the 49th Academy Awards. Before he could announce the winner real life boxer Muhammad Ali came on stage Ali jokingly insisted Stallone stole his script referring to “Rocky”. The two then began to spar on stage.
6. There is a reason for the 45-second speech acceptance rule, and her name is Greer Garson. During her acceptance speech for Best Actress, she began her speech by simply saying, “Thank you. That is really all there is to say; but, as this is after all the opportunity of a lifetime, I hope you won’t mind if I try to expand that word just, just a little.”
Boy did the regret that! For five minutes, at one in the morning, the audience sat awkwardly waiting to go home as Garson rambled on.
7. You know it, you love it, and thanks to the internet John Travolta will never live it down. Yes, we’re talking about the time John Travolta introduced Idina Menzel as Adele Dazeem. Luckily, everyone involved has since made themselves in on the joke, but talk about awkward.
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8. One of the most exciting parts of the Oscars is seeing what everyone is wearing. They do say that fashion is pain, and boy did Jennifer Lawrence find this out during the 85th Oscars. On her way up the stairs to accept her award for “Silver Linings Playbook”, she accidentally stepped on her huge gown and fell down the stairs.
9. Maybe they accept awards differently in Italy, but this next awkward moment could come down to difference in cultures. When Italian actor and director Roberto Benigni won Best Forgein Film for “Life is Beautiful” he not only climbed over people’s seats, but then stood on the backs of the seats in front of him and proceeded to applaud with the audience.
10. We don’t think we’ve ever seen anyone deliver the perfect Oscar speech, but there is a general rule that when the music starts it’s time to wrap it up.
When Julia Roberts won her Oscar for Best Actress for “Erin Brockovich”, she wasn’t going to sacrifice the brilliance of her speech for the confines of time. In fact when the music started up, the Oscar winner ordered the conductor of the band to stop the music. As if that wasn’t awkward enough, she called the him by the wrong name!
11. It makes sense to be excited for yourself when you win an award. Not to mention an Oscar! So it’s no surprise Adrien Body was overwhelmed with joy when he won his Oscar for Best Actor for his role in “The Pianist”. In all his excitement he grabbed presenter Halle Berry and gave her an unexpected smooch.
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12. Everyone has taken a tumble now and then, but most of us don’t do it in front of millions of people on an international stage. Jennifer Garner did just that at the 78th Academy Awards, when she tripped on her dress while presenting the Oscar for Achievement in Sound Editing. When she got to the microphone she was able to save the awkward moment with a little humour by remarking, “I do all my own stunts.”
13. During the 45th Academy Awards, the American Indian Movement was protesting the treatment of Native American’s by the film industry. Marlon Brando was involved with the group, so when he won his Oscar for Best Actor for”The Godfather” he refused to accept the award. Instead sending Sacheen Littlefeather, an Apache Native American to read a written statement on his behalf.
14. James Cameron is a director that falls to either side of the spectrum of love and hate, but no matter how you feel you can’t take his successes from him. In 1998, his film Titanic won 11 Oscars. He showed his pride by awkwardly quoting the film, Im the king of the world!
15. There have been many groundbreaking moments at the Oscars. One of them being the first time a Best Supporting Actress Oscar went to an African American in 1940. Although, it wasn’t without an awkward moment. When Hattie McDaniel won Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Mammy in Gone With the Wind, she was forced to sit in the back of the venue because America was still segregated.
During her acceptance speech she said, “I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry.” It would be 51 years before the next African American won.
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16. There is a reason public speaking is the most common fear among people. Expressing ones self in a coherent manor can be tough. Gwyneth Paltrow learned this when she accepted the award for her role in “Shakespeare in Love”. The speech consisted pretty much of her crying and hiccuping for three-minutes.
17. An Oscar acceptance speech isn’t something you just wing once you get on stage. There is a certain amount of planning that goes into it. That’s why it’s makes us question what went into the thought process for Jack Palance, a 73-year-old man, to do three one-armed push-ups for his acceptance of his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for City Slickers.
18. The trouble with a show like the Oscars is the fact that it is broadcasted live around the world. So, when writing your acceptance speech there are a few words you may want to avoid. Apprently Melissa Leo didn’t get the memo. During her acceptance speech, for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film “The Fighter,” she said,”when I watched Kate two years ago it looked so effing easy…oops!” All was fixed with a simple apology on twitter.
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19. Some things just don’t mix. Like oil and water for an example. Another one would be Rob Lowe and Snow White preforming “Proud Mary”. We wish we were making this up, but it is a thing, and it is how the Academy Awards chose to open the show in 1998.
In case you were wondering, yes, it was torn apart by critics. Some of those critics being Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, Sidney Lumet and Gregory Peck, who called it an embarrassment and demeaning. It was even the cause of a lawsuit from Disney. To call this performance awkward is an understatement.
20. No matter how much you dislike an actor, you have to give them credit for willing to commit to a bit. Ben Stiller took the job of announcing Best Make-Up at the 82nd Annual Academy Award to another level when he decided to dress up like one of the characters from the 2009 film “Avatar” while presenting the award.
21. As anyone whose ever seen a comedian do stand-up knows, landing a joke can be hard. Sean Penn is an amazing actor, but we’re going to go out on a limb here and say he won’t be out at the Laugh Factory testing out material after this.
Before introducing “Birdman” as Best Picture, Penn said, “who gave this guy his green card?”Of course referring to his name Alejandro Inarritu’s. The joke flew over the audiences head (get it?). This awkward joke caused Penn to be accused of racism.