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Three times when real events challenged the Oscars

However, sometimes world events cast such a shadow that it is impossible to ignore them. And while Hollywood’s principle is that the show should continue, in some cases real-world concerns invaded the ceremony in a way that forced organizers to change its schedule, including Late last year Because of the global pandemic.

The Ukraine war dominated news cycles and sparked statements of solidarity from members of the film and television industry ahead of the Oscars. Over the years, politics and the Oscars went hand in hand, and war was often in the background, from World War II – when real sculptures were made of plaster due to metal deficiencies – to Vietnam, from a turbulent period. That spilled over into the show at different times.

Nevertheless, three events in the television era stand out: the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981, and the start of the Iraq War in 2003.

In the first two cases, the award was postponed for a short time and discussed in 2003. (The Oscars were once again postponed due to the 1938 flood).

Review each of these events and their impact on the ceremony.

1968: Assassination of the King

The assassination of the civil rights icon took place on April 4, just days before the ceremony, where several of them were scheduled to perform or appear – including Sidney Poitier, Louis Armstrong and Diahan Carroll – plan to attend King’s funeral on April 9, the second day of the show. (Poitier starred in two nominations for Best Picture that year, “Night Heat” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”)

Because they could not be reached in time, the academy postponed the ceremony from April 8 to April 10 and canceled the governors’ party. The organization’s then-president, Gregory Peck, began the telecast by paying tribute to King.

1981: Reagan is shot

Johnny Carson, the host of the 1981 Oscars, spoke at the opening of the show about the assassination attempt on then-President Reagan.

Reagan was actually scheduled to open the ceremony with a segment recorded at the White House about Oscars and world-class films. Many in attendance at the awards ceremony were particularly shocked, as Reagan has been known since his time as president of the Actors Guild and Film Actors Guild.

The producers quarreled and finally decided to postpone the award for one day (Johnny Carson was the host that year) with veteran writer Baz Cohan, who worked on the show. Recalls 25 years later To the Hollywood Reporter: “Strangely enough, it was Tony Reagan himself who told the doctors in the operating room, ‘Please tell me you are all Republicans.’ “We found out if the man who was shot could joke about it, he gave us the right to do so.”

“This old saying ‘the show should go on’ seemed ‘relatively insignificant,'” Carson said at the opening of the show, saying the president was “in excellent condition” and that he had “expressed a desire” for the producers to use his recorded introduction. Which they did.

“The movie is forever,” Reagan said, repeating the theme of the show that year, adding with a laugh: “I myself have stayed in a movie forever.”

2003: Invasion of Iraq

Film director Michael Moore received an Oscar for his feature film documentary
USA Invaded Iraq The day before the show, which sparked a discussion about whether the award should be postponed. Oscar producer Gill Cates on the eve of the awards Told the Los Angeles Times“Of the 11 shows I’ve done, this is the hardest.”

The Times described the days before the awards as “one of the strangest and most stressful weeks in Oscar history”. The show went on, but the red carpet was removed with temporary bleach to allow fans to watch the stars arrive.

An additional controversy ensued during the show, when Michael Moore received his best documentary Oscar for “Bubble Shooter for Columbine.” Moore condemned the war – calling President George W. Bush a “fictitious president” and saying, “Shame, Mr. Bush,” which caused a stir among the crowd and resulted in the film director being immediately expelled from the stage.

Fifteen years later, in honor of the achievement of life achieved at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Award Ceremony, Moore took the opportunity. Complete his speechWhich closed by calling on people to “take the camera and fight for power, make your voice heard and stop this senseless war.”

Three times when real events challenged the Oscars

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