The Biggest Hollywood News Headlines Of The Year So Far
The word “tragic” sounds a bit intense to use in the year 2022, but it seems appropriate given everything that has occurred in the world of film and television so far.
From infamous slaps heard around the world, comedians coming under attack, disappointing movie outings to the death of a living legend, it seems everything that could have gone wrong did.
Rather than rumble on and on about what a colossal disappointment this year is turning out to be, I thought it wise to jump right into my random picks of some of the more newsworthy headlines.
I wish to start with that, it has not been all bad, but it seems that the bad outweighs the good so far.
The hope is that with May coming to an end and June signalling the halfway stage, maybe the second half will be brighter.
One can still dream and wish, can’t he?
- The Slap heard around the world
This has to be one of the lowest points of the year, as it may have ended the career of Will Smith and ruined the actor and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s brand.
It might have taken them over 90 years, but for once, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science made Hollywood news headlines for reasons other than racial diversity and gender inequality during this year’s Oscars ceremony.
Dubbed “The Slap Heard Around The World”, Will Smith invaded the stage and slapped Comedian Chris Rock square in the face during the 94th Academy Awards held on March 28.
He was reacting to a joke aimed at his wife, who was sporting a shaved head due to a condition called Alopecia that she has been struggling with for some time now.
“Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2,” said the comedian, to which Smith’s initial reaction was one of laughter.
The 53-year-old actor, a self-proclaimed preacher of positivity, then charged the stage, slapped Chris Rock, and retreated to his seat before mouthing off some expletives aimed at the Saturday Night Live alumni.
A weak and insincere apology, and ban from the Academy Awards, soon followed from Smith, dividing opinion from everyone, including fellow actors and actresses, celebrities and the common folk in the global village.
Comedians were the most offended as Rock is one of the most respected in the field, while Smith himself has his origins deeply embedded in the genre.
Images of Will Smith’s wife, Jada, smiling after the incident did not help matters. To make things worse, the 53-year-old actress then threw her husband under the bus sometime after the incident.
She declared that she did not need any protection and that her husband grossly overreacted in the aftermath of the incident.
- The Dave Chappelle attack
The Will Smith incident appears to have set a terrible precedent, and comedians seem to be high on alert for attacks during their sets.
Famed comedian, and a master at his craft, Dave Chappelle is the most recent funny man to get attacked on stage.
He was assaulted on stage during his set at the Hollywood Bowl on May 1, 2022, as a man, who was part of the audience, jumped onto the stage and tackled the comedian to the ground.
Hollywood Bowl uniformed security officers, who witnessed the incident, engaged the suspect, removed him and took him into custody.
According to reports from the US, the man who has been identified as Isaiah Jones is currently also facing charges of attempted murder after he is alleged to have stabbed his roommate back in December.
This is an ongoing story, and we will be following closely as more and more information emerges, from this gist of Hollywood news.
- Bruce Willis retirement
Bruce Willis, the actor, best known for his work in the Die Hard films, retired from the industry after being diagnosed with aphasia back in March.
The daughter Rumer Willis confirmed the development and posted a family statement on her IG page.
To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family, we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. As a result of this, and with much consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.
This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him. As Bruce always says, “Live it up” and together we plan to do just that,” read the statement.
It ended one of the most iconic action and loveable personalities, and the industry is a darker place without him. It is arguably one of the saddest of Hollywood news this year.
- Mixed reactions to “Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”
Don’t let its $342.1 million box office earnings fool, “Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is all over the place with both critics and fans.
After both sects welcomed and loved Marvel’s previous dalliances with the multiverse in last year’s record-setting “Spiderman: No Way Home”, expectations were high for this Marvel release and reached a fever pitch when the trailer dropped hints of the arrival of the Illuminati crew in the film.
The result is a huge disappointment.
Aside from the strong performances from the film’s lead, Benedict Cumberbatch (Stephen Strange) and Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff), everything else is up in the air.
The visuals are strong, but the storyline is weak and half-baked.
This is not to exclude that Marvel’s villain problem and repeated failure to represent women well arise again.
Here is hoping that both problems will be addressed and fixed in Marvel’s next project, “Thor: Love and Thunder”, expected to drop on July 8.
- Amber Heard and Johnny Depp trial
Another ongoing story that appears to have dominated headlines in recent weeks is the Johnny Depp defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
The case emanates from an op-ed piece Heard wrote for the Washington Post back in 2018, during which she claimed to have survived domestic abuse.
Depp is suing for US$50 million in damages and denies ever being physically violent with Heard.
Heard is countersuing for $100 million and claims she was only ever violent with Depp in self-defence or defence of her younger sister.
It has brought the worst out of both parties and the general public, as most people now view the case as a meme generator rather than learning from the experience of these two parties.
Lies and acting also seem to be dominating proceedings in this particular court case, and, regardless of the outcome, there shall be no clear winner when the dust settles.
- The Deaths
2022 has taken its fair share of celebrities to the great beyond but hit especially hard in the performance art department.
It started with the death of a true legend Betty White, who died in her sleep on the morning of December 31. 2021 (New Year’s Eve).
In the time since, death has also robbed the arts of performers like Gilbert Gottfried, William Hurt, comedian Louie Anderson, Bob Saget and Sidney Poitier, to name but a few.
Poitier (94), an Academy Award-winning actor, died on January 7, with the cause of death never really revealed.
Saget died on January 9, as the Full House actor was found dead in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida.
Anderson also succumbed to his battle with cancer in January, while Hurt died of natural causes on March 13.
Gottfried died of a long illness, his family announced on April 12.