Only a few years after the Academy Awards were created, screenwriter Dudley Nichols became , which was a Best Screenwriter award for The Informer. He refused the award as an act of solidarity with the Writers Guild, which was striking at the time.
Hattie McDaniel became the for her performance in Gone With the Wind. But producers had to convince the hotel hosting the Academy Awards to even let McDaniel attend the ceremony. She was allowed in, but she had to sit at a segregated table away from her co-stars.
There have been major Oscar snubs, but maybe none as big as this one. The went to How Green Was My Valley instead of Citizen Kane — which went on to be considered the by many critics.
When , it was on the heels of her affair with Eddie Fisher, who was married to Debbie Reynolds — basically America's sweetheart. This caused many people to see Taylor unfavorably. As if that wasn't enough, she won for her role in , where she plays (as her character calls herself) the "slut of all time." Suffice it to say, more than a few eyebrows were raised when she won.
when he became the first black man to win the award for Best Actor, thanks to his performance in Lilies of the Field. Actress Ann Bancroft congratulated him with a kiss on the cheek, which conservative audiences at the time found scandalous.
Both actresses received exactly 3,030 votes, . Hepburn won for her role Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter, while Streisand won for her debut in Funny Girl. But Hepburn didn't attend the ceremony, so there was that day.
that he would reject any nomination for his portrayal of Gen. George S. Patton in Patton. Still, despite his protests, he went on to be nominated for and win Best Actor in that year's ceremony. He wasn't there to accept his award, choosing instead to spend the night at home in upstate New York. So why was he so against the award in the first place? He said he didn't like the idea of creative performances being compared.
thanks to his iconic role in The Godfather. But when his name was called, it wasn't Brando who took the stage, but rather Native American actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather. She said that the actor "very regretfully" could not accept the award as a form of protest towards Hollywood's portrayal of Native Americans.
Artist and photographer Robert Opel certainly made a statement when . Actor David Niven saved the show and kept things moving when he quipped "Isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?"
, a film that heavily criticized the Vietnam War, took home the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Producer Bert Schneider used his acceptance speech to from the head of the North Vietnamese delegation to the Paris peace talks, and thank anti-war activists. Later in the show, Frank Sinatra shared a note from Bob Hope: "The academy is saying, 'We are not responsible for any political references made on the program, and we are sorry they had to take place this evening.'"
Redgrave won for her role in Julia, which was based on a memoir by Lillian Hellman about her friend Julia who helped fight Nazis during WWII. But many thought that Hellman had fabricated the entire story. To further complicate things, Redgrave had recently produced and narrated a pro-Palestine documentary. This angered many people, who called Redgrave anti-Semitic and encouraged the Academy not to vote for her.
Even if she hadn't won the Oscar for her role in Moonstruck this year, in this custom Bob Mackie dress. Of course, she topped it with a huge feathered headdress. But believe it or not, it wasn't even the most revealing outfit at the 1986 Oscars...
Not to be outdone, actress Edy Williams showed off some serious skin at the awards ceremony. Williams is perhaps better known for her than she is for her acting career.
No matter how bad a karaoke performance you put on, it's probably never caused anyone to take legal action. If only Rob Lowe could say the same. His of a modified version of "Proud Mary" alongside Snow White was so bad, . The was torn apart by critics, and prompted the likes of Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, Sidney Lumet, and Gregory Peck to co-sign a letter calling it an "embarrassment" and "demeaning." You can watch it .
As they were presenting an award, to protest the U.S. government's detention of HIV-positive Haitian refugees who were being held at Guantanamo Bay. The later said "For someone who I invite to present an award to use that time to postulate a personal political belief I think is not only outrageous, it's distasteful and dishonest."
During the same ceremony, Richard Gere spoke about human rights in China and the mistreatment of Tibetans, and encouraged audiences to "send love and truth and a kind of sanity to Deng Xiaoping right now in Beijing, that he will take his troops and take the Chinese away from Tibet." He was supposedly after that, but it seems 20 years later, everyone had forgotten and .
After for her role in My Cousin Vinny, people began to suspect there had been some mistake, since she had beat out several famous veteran actresses. Most seemed to think that presenter Jack Palance read the wrong name, or got confused, and the Academy just didn't want to cause an embarrassing scene. But , and as we've seen from the Best Picture fiasco in 2017, the academy will step in if a mistake is made.
in Hollywood. He had previously testified in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952 at the height of the Red Scare, telling them about eight of his old friends who had been members of the Communist Party, their careers. Because of this, there were protestors gathered outside the ceremony to oppose Kazan receiving the award. Notably, actors Nick Nolte, Ed Harris, and Amy Madigan made a point of staying in their seats and not applauding when Kazan took the stage.
Before she was a mother and activist, Angelina Jolie was something of a Hollywood wild child. One example: she on the red carpet before the 2000 Academy Awards. The same night, after winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Girl, Interrupted, she said in her speech, "I'm so in love with my brother right now," which certainly raised a few eyebrows.
The comedic duo was nominated for Best Original Song, but what really stole the show was . Parker was wearing a unique version of , and Stone was in a pink gown modeled after a dress Gwyneth Paltrow had . They later admitted that they during the ceremony.
The would have been a statement on its own, but Björk took it a step further when she on the red carpet. It's still one of the most talked-about Oscars outfits, and in 2015, was the centerpiece of .
Halle Berry presented the award for Best Actor to Adrien Brody for his role in The Pianist. As he took the stage, with Berry. She later , but said that she just went along with it.
After winning the Oscar for his film Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore to President Bush. "We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons ... Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you," he said. He was playing him off.
Roman Polanski won the Oscar for Best Director in 2003, but he wasn't there to accept the award, as he fled the U.S. in 1977 and is still on the Most Wanted list. He has been living in exile ever since pleading of a then-13-year-old girl, but he fled before he could be sentenced to imprisonment. However, his , and many of celebrated the win.
Another hugely controversial Best Picture win was Crash, which beat out the trailblazing Brokeback Mountain. Even the film's director Paul Haggis he didn't think Crash deserved an Oscar. A asking them to reassess past decisions found that many members would reverse the decision, and give the award to Brokeback Mountain.
, a famous politician and gay rights activist. Notably, Penn won the award shortly after California passed , which effectively banned gay marriage. , he said, "I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support. We've got to have equal rights for everyone."
At least, that's what said. said that Anne Hathaway seemed to be working hard, but even her sunny smile couldn't make up for Franco's sluggish and unenthusiastic performance.
Some reviewers thought Hathaway and Franco did a bad job hosting, but they still didn't tank as bad as McFarlane, who made a series of inappropriate jokes that many viewers found tasteless. called it "the Oscars' Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night." At one point, about Django Unchained, saying it was "the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who has been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie." Yikes.
Broadway star Idina Menzel is pretty well known for singing "Let it Go" in Disney's Frozen. But somehow, , and announced that the next performer would be "Adele Dazeem," resulting in some confusion.
As part of a sketch, , pretending they were PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants (the people responsible for counting up the Academy members' votes for the awards). He continued with a joke about Asian children making phones. The joke was not well-received by actors and politicians, . The academy later apologized.