2022 Oscars See Huge Viewership Hike From All-Time Low

Will Smith

Will Smith’s on-stage slap stole the show.

Did the Will Smith/Chris Rock incident cause more people to tune into the 94th Academy Awards? Did Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s performance draw in more viewers?

According to reports, the 2022 Oscar ceremony experienced a significant rating hike for the ABC network. The televised event brought in 15.3 million viewers.

The Academy Awards saw a huge jump in viewership from the 2021 broadcast. Last year’s Oscars only racked up 10.4 million viewers, an all-time low for the show.

However, Sunday’s Academy Awards still had the second-smallest audience in history. The Oscars amassed over 40 million viewers just eight years ago.

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock was the most viral moment from the 2022 Academy Awards. Rock made fun of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, while presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature.

The Everybody Hates Chris producer joked about Jada Pinkett Smith resembling the bald female character in the 1997 movie G.I. Jane. Pinkett Smith suffers from an autoimmune condition known as alopecia. 

Will Smith went on to win Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams in the King Richard biopic. The rapper once known as The Fresh Prince later apologized to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech.

Beyoncé performed “Be Alive” from King Richard at the Oscars. The 28-time Grammy winner lost in the Best Original Song category to Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell’s “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die.