As much as the Oscars are Hollywood’s Big Night and a chance for the industry’s vanguard to applaud the year’s accomplishments in film, they are equally notorious for creating bizarre pop cultural moments that extend far beyond film. You might not remember that The King’s Speech won Best Picture in 2011, but you probably do remember James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s cringe-worthy hosting duties. With the 86th edition of the Academy Awards coming up this Sunday, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of the more controversial, bizarre, and memorable moments in Oscar history.
Phoning It In
Since many critics and filmmakers consider the 70s to be Hollywood’s Golden Age, it should come as no surprise that many of the daring moves being made on screen would spill over into awards season. George C. Scott made history in 1971 when he turned down the Best Actor award, choosing to stay home in New York City and watch a hockey game, while famously declaring the event as a “two-hour meat parade.” Two years later, Marlon Brando made an even bolder move when in lieu of accepting his Oscar for his role in The Godfather, he requested that Sacheen Littlefeather represent him and decline the award on his behalf, decrying “the poor treatment of Native Americans in the film industry.”