Summer of Soul producer Joseph Patel was not pleased in the slightest when it came to time to accept an Academy Award just moments after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscar ceremony.
Joseph, who walked onstage alongside co-producers Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein and director Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson to accept the award for Best Documentary Feature— made it clear he was speaking on behalf of himself and not his Summer of Soul coworkers.
While recalling the moment, the oscar-winning producer shared that he felt Will’s actions were “selfish.”
“It robbed the category of its moment,” Joseph wrote in a now-deleted March 30 tweet. “It robbed the other excellent and amazing films of their moment to be acknowledged in what was a STRONG year for docs. And it robbed Summer of Soul and our team of our moment. Of a loud, enthusiastic cheer for a celebrated film.”
Joseph went on to share that after the altercation occurred, many were blindsided by the moment.
Chris Rock made fun of Jada and Will Smith got on stage to slap him and cursed him from his seat after. Live feed stopped on Astro because. Not scripted. Audience stunned. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/F5dN4prPfY— ???????????????????? ???????????????????????????? (@ayshardzn) March 28, 2022
“Once we realized the Chris Rock/Will Smith interaction wasn’t a bit, everything got turned upside down,” he wrote. “Everyone was still trying to make sense of it when Chris persevered and started to read the nominees,” later adding, “We were in shock walking to the stage—not because of winning but because we, too, were still trying to make sense of what happened.”
Joseph also noted that Chris made a factually incorrect joke at Joseph and his fellow producers, as they took the stage to accept their win.
“What I didn’t hear in that moment walking to stage but was told of afterwards is what Chris Rock said when reading our name from the winner’s card — the winner is Summer of Soul … Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and … four white guys.’ WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F–K?????,” he wrote.
Chris Rock: And the winner is Ahmir Thompson and four white guys.— 8645 (@DistortedLoop) March 28, 2022
(Ahmir is black.) ????
Imagine the outrage if a white announcer said Joe Silverman and for black dudes. #ChrisRock #Oscars2022 pic.twitter.com/tVTSf1yIjI
Joseph said that the comment from Chris made him angry as there were only three producers and he is South Asian.
As the producer wrote, “The reason that makes me SO SO VERY ANGRY is because I was so proud to be one of a handful of South Asians to have ever won an Oscar in the history of the award.”
Concluding his thoughts, Joseph noted that he “probably never will” watch the ceremony again after the events that unfolded.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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