Their opening monologue took aim at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, a bill that many on the Left have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“This year, we saw a frightening display of how toxic masculinity turns into cruelty toward women and children,” Hall said.
“Damn that Mitch McConnell,” Sykes responded.
Hall continued: “I know, but you know, I was actually talking about The Power of the Dog,” a film adapted from Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel that positions toxic masculinity as a poisonous entanglement.
As the hosts announced that a great night was in store, they also slammed Florida’s recent controversial education legislation that seeks to prevent instruction related to sexuality from entering the state’s lower-elementary classrooms.
“Well, we’re gonna have a great night tonight, and for you people in Florida, we’re gonna have a gay night,” Sykes said.
The hosts then collectively chanted, “Gay! Gay! Gay!” as many in the crowd cheered.
In a pre-filmed piece, Sykes toured the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. As she walked past a mask of one of the orcs from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, she cracked a joke about disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.
“Oh hey, it’s Harvey Weinstein!” Sykes said.
In a moment that stole much of the attention of the evening, Will Smith took exception to Chris Rock making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her new bald-headed hairstyle, caused by alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss. Smith walked to the stage and slapped Rock before yelling, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth."
“I remember when they joked about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior at the Oscars — until it was assault,” Forbes editor Diane Brady tweeted.
Conservative singer-songwriter Five Times August tweeted that “Oscar Night should be renamed ‘Room Full of Harvey Weinstein’s Friends Ignoring All That Harvey Weinstein Stuff’ Night,” before later blasting Hollywood’s dark side.
Tonight the Oscars celebrates pedophiles, drug addicts, sexual abusers, cheaters, liars, terrible parents, insincere and condescending fakers, woke agenda driven and purely evil narcissists who make subpar drivel they call entertainment. pic.twitter.com/aUp9dWnNh6— Five Times August (@FiveTimesAugust) March 28, 2022
Other notable Oscar moments included Hall, who said she was single, poking at COVID-19 protocols while turning the stage into her own dating show. Hall called upon various eligible bachelors in the crowd, including Bradley Cooper, Timothee Chalamet, Tyler Perry, and Simu Liu, to come backstage for another round of COVID-19 testing.
The COVID-19 testing parody earned praise, with writer Saeed Jones tweeting it was “the funniest thing an Oscars host had done in a decade.”
Sykes and Hall also passed out gifts at the Oscars. They blasted voter fraud concerns as they gave a pre-shredded Texas voter registration form. The hosts also slammed Kim Kardashian’s “tone-deaf work harder” comment as they offered what they called “an inspirational quote.”
Viewers also pointed out that the Oscars’ choice to play Toto’s Africa as British actor Daniel Kaluuya and singer H.E.R. took the stage early Sunday night to present the best supporting actress award was in poor taste.
And the Oscar for “Absolute Worst Time to Play ‘Africa’ by Toto” goes to… THE OSCARS.— Brian Murray (@Murricane1014) March 28, 2022
“And the Oscar for "Absolute Worst Time to Play ‘Africa’ by Toto' goes to… THE OSCARS,” Brian Murray tweeted.