Tonight's Oscars show was viewed around the world. It used to get hundreds of millions of watchers. Maybe that's less now.
Regardless, both those who put on the Oscars and those who won awards blew it by failing to take a much stronger stand in support of Ukraine against Russia's unprovoked invasion.
I watched every minute of the show.
I kept waiting for someone -- a presenter, an award winner, anyone -- to make some impassioned remarks about the bravery of the Ukrainian people and the need for freedom lovers everywhere to support their battle against Russia.
Instead, all we got was the bare minimum: a screen with a bunch of words that called for a moment of silence for Ukraine, along with a request to donate to Ukrainian relief.
Better than nothing. But just barely.
I heard a lot of talk in support of deaf people, of LGBTQ people, of Black people. But there were only two verbal references to Ukraine.
After a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Godfather movies, if I recall the number of years correctly, one of the honorees said as he was leaving the stage, "Viva Ukraine."
Wow. The Oscars ran about 40 minutes over the scheduled three hours.
So there wasn't time for a couple of minutes to honor the freedom fighters in Ukraine, who, while the Hollywood elite were congratulating themselves for being able to make movies, were risking their lives to combat the biggest invasion of a European country since World War II?
I guess not. Looks like the Oscars had decided that what the world needs now is 3 hours and 40 minutes of an award show devoted to wealthy people involved with movie-making patting themselves on the back.
The other verbal reference to Ukraine came from Amy Schumer, one of the three hosts, who said after making a humorous remark, "There's a genocide going on in Ukraine and women are losing all their rights."
Huh? Thousands of Ukrainians are indeed being killed. That arguably is a form of genocide, but it also is simply Russia bombing civilian areas rather than military targets. And I have no idea what Schumer meant by women losing all their rights.
Maybe she got Ukraine mixed up with Afghanistan, where the Taliban are indeed taking away women's rights.
Actually, many women and children in Ukraine are losing their lives, not their rights. Russia is forcing lots of Ukrainians to flee to Russia from cities being bombed by Russian forces, so I guess that could be considered a loss of rights.
I found this year's Oscars entertaining, but also deeply irritating. It astounded me that no presenter or award winner, neither of whom is at a loss for words, didn't use the world stage they found themselves on to draw attention to the horrors being inflicted on Ukraine by Russia.
Instead, I watched Will Smith rush up on stage and punch Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife. OK, she has hair loss, and Rock joked about that.
Chris made a comment about Jada's shaved head ... saying he couldn't wait to see 'G.I. Jane 2' -- which got some groans from the crowd, to which he just sorta shrugged off.
Chris didn't think he'd crossed a line, but Will clearly did ... because he stormed the stage and literally socked the dude in the face. A stunned Rock exclaimed, "Wow. Will Smith just smacked the s*** outta me."
The American broadcast on ABC muted, and even froze, but in other countries it continued ... and Will shouted "Keep my wife's name out your f****** mouth" twice to Chris.
Will Smith later made one of the most annoying acceptance speeches I've ever seen when he won Best Actor for his role in "King Richard." Smith kept saying that God had chosen him to do some amazing things, which apparently included punching Chris Rock and swearing at him.
Religious hypocrisy is the worst kind. Will Smith showed that tonight.