The Oscars 2022 has been slammed after the Toto song Africa was played as black presenters and H.E.R.took to the stage on Sunday.

British-Ugandan actor Daniel, 32, and Filipina/African-American singer H.E.R, 24, picked up last year for Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Song respectively for their work on Judas and the Black Messiah.

The pair returned to the awards stage to present Best Supporting Actress – accompanied by the iconic 1982 song – a move which left fans baffled and criticising the Academy for taking ‘a huge step backwards in terms of diversity.’

The show came under further fire for playing Madonna’s 1987 hit, La Isla Bonita when Latina actress Stephanie Beatriz came onstage to introduce the best song nominee from Encanto.    

Under fire: The Oscars 2022 has been slammed after the Toto song Africa was played as black presenters Daniel Kaluuya and H.E.R. took to the stage on Sunday (pictured)

Under fire: The Oscars 2022 has been slammed after the Toto song Africa was played as black presenters Daniel Kaluuya and H.E.R.took to the stage on Sunday (pictured)

One fan wrote on Twitter: ‘And the Oscar for “Absolute Worst Time to Play ‘Africa’ by Toto” goes to… THE OSCARS.

A second wrote: ‘Oh hey btw good for all the diverse on-screen inclusiveness, but…was anybody else super weirded-out by them playing Toto’s “Africa” when Daniel Kaluuya and H.E.R.came out earlier? Just me? Ok, so not just me. Good. #Oscars  

Another typed: ‘Still cringing from La Isla Bonita played for Stephanie Beatriz, and Marc Anthony’s Vivir mi Vida for Encanto, following Africa for Daniel Kaluuya and HER walking on stage. There were some great moments for diversity, but this seems a real step backwards.’

Further fans wrote: ‘so far they’ve introduced Daniel Kaluuya and H.E.R.with Toto’s “Africa” and Stephanie Beatriz with “La Isla Bonita,” honestly how the hell is this happening’

‘Who the hell picked “Africa” as the song for Daniel and H.E.R. walking up, that seems like the easiest choice to not make’ another penned..

Backlash: The show came under further fire for playing Madonna's 1987 hit, La Isla Bonita when Latina actress Stephanie Beatriz came onstage to introduce the best song nominee

Backlash: The show came under further fire for playing Madonna’s 1987 hit, La Isla Bonita when Latina actress Stephanie Beatriz came onstage to introduce the best song nominee

Oscar winners: The pair returned to the awards stage to present Best Supporting Actress - accompanied by the iconic 1982 song - a move which left fans criticising the Academy

Oscar winners: The pair returned to the awards stage to present Best Supporting Actress – accompanied by the iconic 1982 song – a move which left fans criticising the Academy

Another wrote: ‘The Oscar’s playing AFRICA when HER and Daniel walked out is FOUL.’

Last year’s Academy Awards were officially the most diverse with a record-breaking number of actors of colour being nominated. 

But this year’s nomination list featured just four actors of colour: Ariana DeBose (best supporting actress nominee for West Side Story), Aunjanue Ellis (best supporting actress nominee for King Richard), Will Smith (best actor nominee for King Richard) and Denzel Washington (best actor nominee for The Tragedy of Macbeth). 

Oh no: One fan wrote on Twitter: ‘And the Oscar for “Absolute Worst Time to Play ‘Africa’ by Toto” goes to… THE OSCARS’

The best actress category was particularly called out for lacking in diversity this year, promoting #OscarsSoWhite backlash to return again on social media.  

Tweeters called out the lack of diversity in the best actress category with many wondering why acclaimed performances such as Rachel Zegler’s lead in West Side Story and Tessa Thompson in Netflix’s Passing were not included.Ruth Negga also missed out on a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her acclaimed role in Passing.

Jennifer Hudson was also notable in her absence, missing out for her role in Aretha Franklin biopic Respect. Hudson was among the frontrunners for the category before the nominations were announced.Some even predicted that she could earn two nods, one for Leading Actress and one for Original Song for Here I Am.

Those two nods would have made the multi-talented star the first Black woman to earn nods in three separate Oscar categories, having previously won a supporting actress Oscar in 2007 for her role in Dreamgirls.  

Twitter: Fans took to Twitter to voice their confusion over the song choice

Twitter: Fans took to Twitter to voice their confusion over the song choice

‘This category is always so white #OscarsSoWhite its 20 years since a black actress won….God knows how many more it will take….. @IAMJHUD is so robbed she at least deserve a nomination. #ShameOnYouOscars,’ tweeted one.

‘Thanks @TheAcademy of another beige Best Actress list. I’m out for another year. There’s a reason ratings continue to decline year after year.#oscarsshowhite.’

After the nominations were announced, a spokesperson for GLAAD also urged for more inclusion of the LGBTQ community.

‘This year’s Oscar nominations for performances from queer actors including Ariana DeBose and Kristen Stewart, as well for powerful LGBTQ stories in films like West Side Story, Flee, and The Mitchells vs.The Machines, are clear reminders of the opportunities that exist with audiences and critics when Hollywood invests in queer talent and tells diverse stories in bold and original ways,’ said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

‘With several worthy LGBTQ stories, actors, and creators absent from this year’s list, the industry and Academy should prioritize investing in and recognizing creators and stories from LGBTQ and other marginalized communities that audiences both crave and connect with.’

Last week it emerged  The Academy of Motion Picture will disqualify films from Best Picture contention that do not have enough black, gay and disabled actors in the cast and crew – a move many industry insiders fear will be the final nail in the coffin for the already flagging award show.

Will Smith won the Best Actor gong for King Richard

Ariana DeBose won Best Supporting Actress

Diversity: This year’s nomination list featured just four actors of colour including winners Will Smith (left) and Ariana DeBose (right)

The Academy passed its Aperture 2025 initiative in 2020, five years after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in order to promote more diversity in the industry, but the move has been under fire ever since.

The initiative was spearheaded by black filmmaker Ava DuVernay and developed by the academy to set criteria – which included diversifying nearly every aspect of a movie, from cast and crew to production, marketing, financing, distribution and even internships by 30 percent.

The proposed standard could have kept last year’s Best Picture winner Nomadland from getting an Oscar because of its all-white cast – even though it was directed by Asian filmmaker Chloé Zhao.  

In a statement about the new policy, Academy President David Rubin said: ‘The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them.’

Along with the policy change, the Aperture 2025 initiative called on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures to prominently display works of people of colour and those from underrepresented communities.

Winner: Daniel is pictured with his Best Supporting Actor award at the 2021 ceremony

Winner: Daniel is pictured with his Best Supporting Actor award at the 2021 ceremony

Insiders slammed the initiative for bringing in politics to an event meant to celebrate creativity.

‘It’s an exercise in making us apologize for history,’ one industry told LA Mag about the policy and the museum.’Instead of something that celebrates movies, the museum goes out of its way to make you feel bad.’

One filmmaker added that the new criteria poses a creative challenge that most might not be able to overcome for a story they want to tell.

‘Instead of making it easier, they want cheap flights to oviedo make it harder,’ said filmmaker, who like most in Hollywood have asked to remain anonymous for fear of being canceled.’And it’s hard enough as it is to get movies made. People are just not going to do it.’

A producer told LA Mag that the policy spells the end for the Oscars as we know it.   

The 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony saw Jessica Chastain win her first Best Actress trophy and CODA make history as the first ever streaming film to earn Best Picture.

But Will Smith has no doubt become the most talked about moment of The Oscars after his Best actor victory was marred following a physical altercation with Chris Rock. 

He beat out Javier Bardem – Being the Ricardos, Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog, Andrew Garfield – tick, tick… BOOM!, and Denzel Washington – The Tragedy of Macbeth.

Will snapped up the award for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the determined father who raised tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard.

But the win was overshadowed as the actor, 53, earlier stormed on to the Oscars stage and slapped presenter Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s haircut.

Stand-up comedian Chris upset Will when he compared his wife’s hair to that of G.I. Jane’s, who has a shaved head. Pinkett Smith suffers from hair loss condition alopecia.

After Will strode out on stage and slapped Chris with an open right hand, the comedian staggered and exclaimed ‘wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.’

Will, visibly emotional, walked back to his seat in the audience and shouted: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.’

The exchange was muted on a delayed telecast in much of the US, but was aired in full to some international audiences.

Will was still allowed to make his acceptance speech and, with tears streaming down his face, he appeared to defend hitting Chris because he said he wanted to protect his family.

‘Love makes you do crazy things’, the rapper admitted as he accepted his Best Actor Oscar statuette.

He added that being a Hollywood star means you should be able to ‘have people disrespecting you and that ‘you just gotta smile and pretend it’s ok,’ he said.

But he added that he admired Richard Williams who ‘was a fierce defender of his family.’

‘I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people,’ he explained.

Tears: Will has no doubt become the most talked about moment of The Oscars California after being held at Union Station last year, after his Best actor victory was marred following a physical altercation with Chris Rock

Tears: Will has no doubt become the most talked about moment of The Oscars California after being held at Union Station last year, after his Best actor victory was marred following a physical altercation with Chris Rock

Will went on to issue a tearful partial apology for his emotional outburst, but did not apologize to Chris.

‘I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees.This is a beautiful moment,’ he said.

‘Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father.’

Late on Sunday, the LAPD issued a statement saying that Chris had not filed a police report against Will, but that if he chooses to do so, police will investigate. 

The jam-packed awards night also saw Jessica Chastain finally earned her first Academy Award in the Best Actress category for her work in The Eyes Of Tammy Faye.

The 45-year-old veteran actress achieved the honor over Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter, Penélope Cruz – Parallel Mothers, Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos, and Kristen Stewart – Spencer.

The biographical film she starred in was an intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker as she played the titular role.

Oh my god: Will slapped Chris after the presenter made a jibe at Will's wife Jada

Oh my god: Will slapped Chris after the presenter made a jibe at Will’s wife Jada 

Coda – which also won all three awards it was nominated for – also made history as it became the first ever film from a streaming service to win highest honor Best Picture, which was a massive win for AppleTV+.

It was victorious over Belfast (Focus Features)Don’t Look Up (Netflix), Drive My Car (Janus Films/Sideshow), Dune (Warner Bros), King Richard (Warner Bros), Licorice Pizza (MGM/United Artists Releasing), Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures), The Power Of The Dog (Netflix), and West Side Story  (20th Century Studios). 

The film is centered around a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) named Ruby (played by Emilia Jones) who is the only hearing person in her deaf family.When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music by wanting to go to Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents.

It was a major night for the movie as it earned all three of the categories it was nominated as the drama also won Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Troy Kotsur became the first ever deaf male actor to earn an acting Oscar 35 years after his co-star Marlee Matlin made history as she became the first ever deaf actress to win an Oscar in 1987.

He beat out heavy competition including: Ciaran Hinds – Belfast Jesse Plemons – The Power Of The Dog, J.K Simmons – Being The Ricardos, and Kodi Smitt-McPhee – The Power Of The Dog.

Later on in the evening, Sian Heder earned Best Adapted screenplay for the film as she won over Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe), Dune (Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts & Denis Villeneuve), The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal), and The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion).

Netflix’s Power Of The Dog led nominations with 12 nods including Best Picture, Best Director and recognition for all of its top actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

In a huge milestone during the night, its filmmaker Jane Campion, 67, became the third woman to earn the Best Director nod.

Campion, a previous nominee for 1993′s The Piano, also became the first woman to ever be nominated twice for Best Director.

Last year, Chloé Zhao became the second woman to ever win the award.Campion’s director of photography, Ari Wegner, also became the second woman ever nominated for Best Cinematography.

Dune followed closely behind with 10 nominations spread out largely in the technical categories that rewarded the gargantuan craft of Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, yet unexpectedly bypassed Villeneuve’s direction.  

Dune incredibly snapped up the gongs for Cinematography, Achievement in Sound, Production Design, Visual Effects, Best Soundtrack, Film Editing and Original Score.

Elsewhere, Rachel Zegler attended the ceremony after a controversy saw her not being invited to the ceremony despite her film being nominated for seven awards.

Zegler, 20, created a bit of a firestorm on social media as she revealed over the weekend that she will not be in attendance at The Oscars despite being the lead – Maria Vasquez – for the Steven Spielberg directed flick. 

She previously said on Instagram that she tried to go but ‘it doesn’t seem to be happening’ and that she will be rooting for West Side Story from her couch.

‘I hope some last minute miracle occurs and I can celebrate our film in person but hey, that’s how it goes sometimes, I guess,’ Zegler continued on Instagram.’Thanks for all the shock and outrage – I’m disappointed, too. But that’s OK. So proud of our movie.’ 

Her co-star Ariana DeBose snapped up the award for Best Supporting Actress while the film as a whole was nominated in categories including Best Picture, Directing, Achievement in Sound, Production Design, Costume Design and Cinematography.

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