Daily Brief: Oscars Viewership Still Low, Omicron BA.2 is Now Dominant

Also, Elliot Page’s announces that their ”Umbrella Academy” character will come out as transgender in season 3

» Even Will Smith’s Slap Couldn’t Save the Oscars’ Viewership Ratings Sunday’s dramatic Oscars captured 16.6 million viewers and a rating among adults 18-49 of 3.8, marking the second least-watched and lowest-rated Academy Awards ever. However, the ceremony did break social media records. [Deadline]

» Omicron BA.2 is Now Dominant in the U.S. The highly infectious BA.2 Omicron subvariant is now the dominant version of COVID in the United States, which has prompted concerns of a potential springtime wave. [Los Angeles Times]

» Patricia Guerrero Takes Seat as First Latina Justice on California Supreme Court Judge Patricia Guerrero made history Monday when she was sworn in to serve as the first Latina on the California Supreme Court. [CBS News]

» Elliot Page’s ‘Umbrella Academy’ Character Will Come Out as Transgender in Season 3 The actor, who came out as transgender in December 2020, shared a first-look of Netflix’s Umbrella Academy on Tuesday along with the caption, “Meet Viktor Hargreeves.” [Entertainment Tonight]

» Laugh Factory Changes Marque in Support of Chris Rock After Will Smith Slap at the Oscars The marque at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood displays an image of Chris Rock with the message: “Laugh Factory supports First Amendment right for all comedians. The comedy community loves & supports you Chris.” [KTLA]



Will Smith slaps Chris Rock onstage during the show at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 27, 2022. (Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Will Smith May Have Slapped Himself Out of Another Oscar Nomination

We hope Will Smith thoroughly savored his time onstage smacking Chris Rock in the face, and that the docile stars who gave him a standing ovation when he grabbed his Best Actor trophy got a quick thrill, too. Because that may be the last time the handsy performer gets anywhere near an Oscar for a long, long time.

So far, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said only that it “condemns” Smith’s violence in a dishwater statement, but Smith is also facing a possible yearlong suspension from the Academy, a punishment that would eliminate him from next year’s awards contention, despite an upcoming flick that checks all the usual Oscar buzz-boxes.

“I would not be surprised if they suspend him for a year, six months—really give him a public lashing, so to speak, where he will feel something and not be able to get a nomination for a movie that he has coming out next year,” Puck News’ Matt Belloni told Today on Tuesday, Page Six reports.


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