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Things don’t always go as planned on live television — the Academy Awards have proved that many times since the first ceremony in 1929. From award blunders to cringeworthy celebrity fails, Oscars viewers have seen it all. In a survey following the 2022 awards show, 1,000 Americans voted for the most shocking moments in Oscars history. Will Smith slapping Chris Rock topped the list, of course, followed by an awkward Best Picture mistake from 2017.

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars 2022, which was voted the most shocking moment in Oscars history.
Will Smith was seen slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars 2022. | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

A survey of 1,000 Americans named Will Smith slapping Chris Rock the most shocking moment in Oscars history

In a survey conducted by OnePoll (via Talker Research), 1,000 Americans were asked to choose the three most shocking Oscars moments from a list of 14. The results found that “Will Smith slapping Chris Rock” received 35 percent of the votes, making it No. 1 in the top 10.

For those in need of a refresher, the incident began at the 94th Academy Awards when Chris Rock took to the stage to present the nominees for Best Documentary Feature. The comedian started his monologue with a few jokes, including one where he referred to Jada Pinkett Smith as G.I. Jane, presumably because of her bald hairstyle — a result of her alopecia.

Angered by the joke, Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped Rock. When Smith returned to his seat, he shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth!”

Smith later issued apologies for the incident, and Rock opted not to press charges. However, one week after the ceremony, the slap is still a hot topic around the globe. Many people, including several fellow celebrities, have chosen sides, while others decided both Rock and Smith were wrong.

Some have expressed outrage that Smith received an Oscar for Best Actor just 10 minutes after the slap. In the wake of the incident, Smith has resigned from his Academy membership.

Participants voted the Oscars 2017 ‘La La Land’ Best Picture mistake as the second most shocking moment

Taking second place in OnePoll’s survey was the Oscars 2017’s Best Picture blunder, which had 19 percent of votes.

At the 89th Academy Awards, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented the night’s biggest award, giving La La Land the Oscar for Best Picture. But here’s the thing: La La Land didn’t win. The presenters mistakenly read La La Land when it should have been Moonlight.

The entire awkward ordeal can be seen in the Academy’s video above. La La Land’s cast and crew took to the stage to accept their award and give heartwarming speeches. Then, the film’s producer, Jordan Horowitz, announced that Moonlight had actually won, showing the envelope as proof.

According to Forbes, someone had accidentally handed Beatty the envelope for Lead Actress, which La La Land’s Emma Stone had won just before the error. PricewaterhouseCooper, the accounting firm responsible for preparing the envelopes, took responsibility for the mistake.

For those wondering, these shocking Oscars moments made up the rest of OnePoll’s list:

  • Kevin Hart fired as host – 18 percent
  • Marlon Brando sending Sacheen Littlefeather to decline the Best Actor award – 17 percent
  • Ellen Degeneres snapping a selfie with celebrities – 17 percent
  • John Travolta pronouncing Idina Menzel’s name as “Adele Dazeem” – 17 percent
  • Angelina Jolie’s leg taking over the internet – 16 percent
  • Streaker storming the stage behind David Nevin – 16 percent
  • Jennifer Lawrence trips up the stairs to accept Best Actress award – 16 percent
  • Anne Hathaway and James Franco co-hosting together – 15 percent

The Oscars 2022 slap might boost next year’s viewership, according to the survey


Nearly a Week After the Academy Awards, No One Agrees on What Happened After the Will Smith Slap

Many of the most shocking Oscars moments were surrounded by controversy and memes. However, one thing remained true: viewers loved the drama.

As Variety noted, Neilsen data revealed that Oscars 2022 viewership increased by 600,000 people after the Will Smith/Chris Rock incident. And according to OnePoll’s survey, 63 percent of participants said they would tune in next year because of the slap. What shocking moments will the 95th Academy Awards have in store?