Appalling Oscars was in stark contrast to moving concert in support of Ukraine - Christa Ackroyd

And the Oscar goes to...Will Smith. Not for his portrayal of an ambitious father who coached his daughters to become world tennis champions.

Instead he should have received a little gold man for his snivelling, half hearted, insincere apology stroke acceptance speech which unbelievably gained a standing ovation from the beautiful people of Hollywood, which tells you all you need to know about Hollywood.

This week was April Fool’s Day. And boy was Will Smith a fool. There were so many things wrong with his antics broadcast to a global audience, not least the subsequent comments from some that he was only protecting his wife. Heaven help us.

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Since when do women, particular strong women like Jada Pinkett Smith, need protecting? Supporting yes, protecting especially in that manner absolutely not, never. Guess what? We have our own lives, our own minds and can fight our own battles, especially without the need for actual fighting. We have a tongue in our heads and most of us are not afraid to use it.

Will Smith (R) slaps Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty ImagesWill Smith (R) slaps Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
Will Smith (R) slaps Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Only for Jada she never got the chance to. Her macho husband thought he’d do it for her and make a fool of himself and of her. In fact we still don’t know what she thought of it all. I suspect the rolling eyes said everything she wants to say, to both of them.

What is so sad about the whole pathetic schoolboy debacle is that it has led to division about whether Will Smith was right or wrong. And that worries me.

I thought we had all come to a point where we agree violence is always wrong. So in every sane person’s view he was wrong, wrong and wrong. Only the world isn’t always sane, is it?

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For the avoidance of doubt so too was Chris Rock. Humour it may be said, like art, is in the eye or the ears of the beholder. But since when has humiliation ever been funny? Would he have said the same say to someone who had lost their hair because of cancer treatment? I doubt it.

What really sadddens me after this sordid little episode is that a woman was not only made to feel uncomfortable with a so called joke about her appearance, she was equally as uncomfortable with her husband’s reaction and if I am not very much mistaken whispered to him in no uncertain terms to get up there for his Oscar acceptance speech and apologise. Or they were both in danger of losing their careers.

Jada Pinkett Smith has made no secret of having Alopecia. But I am still betting it hurts. And I imagine she had a moment of self doubt despite her fabulous frock and beautiful face when she stepped out on the red carpet. But she held her head up high and posed with every ounce of confidence she could muster. Until the cameras turned on her for all the wrong reasons.

The only good thing that came out of the whole appalling incident is that it has raised awareness of the condition. Nothing else. That the Academy now says it asked Smith to leave on the night but he refused so they gave him his Oscar anyway tells me everything I need to know about the Academy too, that the tail wags the dog. Only the dog has got fleas and is looking a bit mangy despite its diamond studded collar.

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There was so much wrong with that night apart from that slap. For example the hundred thousand dollar goody bags. Plastic surgery vouchers with thousands of dollars for liposuction, bottles of gold infused olive oil, a square foot of Scotland to call yourself a laird or a lady and a £750 session with a self help guru among other things.

Perhaps Will Smith should take up the latter at least. But what a vulgar set of gifts they were. And how ill timed was the giving?

As the people of Ukraine struggle for food and water or indeed to stay alive, a grown man slaps and scream obscenities and walks away with an award and a bag full of treats only a narcissist would enjoy, after hours upon hours of self indulgent clap trap from stars and celebrities who claim to care. Well I am sure some of them do, about themselves.

I used to love the Oscars and their showbusiness sparkle. Now they are dull and after this week forever tarnished. The speech’s are rarely relevant to anyone but their friends in the biz, and the introductions, often read badly from autocue, are almost always overacted, rarely funny and even more rarely relevant to the real world. As for the films, they now seem to take second billing. Thank goodness not all TV spectacles are so puerile.

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As my old English teacher would say, let us compare and contrast the incredible Concert for Ukraine broadcast on ITV just a couple of days later. What a joy it was. The most moving films were devastatingly impactful, and neither gratuitous nor self serving.

The presenters Emma Bunton, Roman Kemp and Marvin Hughes were understated, to the point and genuine. As for the performers, no one thanked their record companies, their parents, their agents or anyone else.

In fact no one said a word. They just sang. Some of the biggest names in the world of music simply performed one or two of their songs for no other reason than to show their support to a country torn apart by a bloody war while raising millions of pounds at the same time.

Well I know which televisual spectacular was the better of two. In a world where so-called stars strut the stage in Hollywood in their borrowed outfits and million dollar diamond accessories claiming to want to change the world, it all boils down to one word.

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Sincerity. I doubt many Hollywood A listers could even spell it let alone know it’s meaning, if this years Oscars is anything to go by.

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