Pain on Full Display at Oscars Award Ceremony

A shipment that resonated with me in a different way after seeing celebrities’ pain on display in uncharted fashion

Each night during the month of March, I fall asleep contemplating what my post will be about for the next day. It’s a part of a wonderful commitment I make annually (for three years now) to participate in a month-long writing challenge spearheaded by Two Writing Teachers. In this “Slice of Life Challenge,” writers from all over the world share an array of experiences from snippets of their life that span the spectacular and evocative to the simple and profound.

Last night, I was reflective. I determined I’d write about the unparalleled encounters I’d had after writing a book about my personal experiences with pain and trauma and how the transparency led to unprecedented conversations with others regarding their own pain that I’m confident would have never otherwise occurred. It’s titled, “The Power of Your Pain: Pushing Past from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.

That was the plan…until I received a text from a beloved friend about the Oscars…

I clicked a Twitter video snippet to find that a celebrated actor (whom I choose not to name. All parties’ names are replete across social media currently), was most offended by a comedian’s joke about his wife because of a medical condition that causes hair loss. Following the comment, he went on stage and struck him with an open hand during the live broadcast.

The comedian was visibly stunned as was the audience upon considering that the incident was not staged. It was followed by an abrasive reiteration of his distaste, complete with expletive(s). The actor later received an award for a powerful movie in which he was featured, though he was visibly shaken at the context of the event both before and after.

Unsurprisingly, there is a wealth of fodder in the stratosphere questioning the propriety. Some condoning, many condemning. I watched both in horror (the incident and the subsequent apology) because what was most apparent to me, was pain.

For many years, I’ve been convinced, that people are often unaware of the most effective ways to handle their pain. It is often bottled, repressed, resisted and frequently in the most inefficient manner. Around the world, we mismanage pain or worse, don’t manage it at all until it bubbles up at the most inopportune moments, spilling into the lives of others – and that comes with serious effects.

Last night’s award ceremony was a perfect storm of sorts, and I couldn’t help feeling as if I was revisiting every chapter of that book.

The woman who was the focal point of the joke felt pain because she felt that it was at her expense.

Her husband, empathizing with her pain, felt a surging pain of perceived disrespect, anger, conflicts regarding loyalty, pressure, the compulsion to – by his estimations – protect and defend.

In confronting the comedian in a most physical (and untimely) way, he inflicted physical pain in addition to the humiliation that was unanticipated, but most logically felt by the visibly stunned presenter.

There was pain in the audience (and subsequent onlookers from other platforms) that ranged from disgust with what they deemed unwarranted violence and those who empathized with both the husband and wife. Some felt insensitivities were over the line and unsympathetic towards women struggling with the ailment and others like it.

Others determined the husband was within his right, and honored her in a most chivalrous, old-fashioned way.

Several have expressed in communities of color, that this was painful at large because of negative perceptions that may occur about races of people with whom others may now reaffirm unfounded stereotypes.

In regards to my personal opinion, I believe that all parties involved could have had a better response. As I’m among the least confrontational, I would not have settled it with a physical altercation.

Nevertheless, what I find even more troubling is anchored by the purpose for writing my book. Pain that is unmanaged or managed ineffectively can be debilitating, causing even further damage to ourselves and those around us.

Of his own accord, I don’t believe the actor intended to respond with impulsivity and regretted it on many levels. My greater concern is that each involved has pain – considerable, layered, growing pain – that should be handled with immediacy.

This also serves as a keen reminder that though we ascribe superhuman status to those who are gifted and talented, we are quickly reminded of the common thread of flawed humanity that we all share. Celebrities are not exempt.

I am thankful that my flaws are not a feature on the evening news and saturated in social media. I am a work in progress, and without the help of God, I imagine I’d find myself as fodder for the next meme just as easily.

I’m praying for all who were directly and indirectly involved in this experience – and I’m encouraging those who were viewers/listeners only to ensure that they manage their own pain effectively, so that it will never be the content of unsolicited conversations, privately or publicly.

23 thoughts on “Pain on Full Display at Oscars Award Ceremony

  1. I deeply appreciate and agree with your comments. Everyone needs to learn how pain can play out in their lives and the lives of others. We are responsible to deal with our pain and behave in an appropriate manner in spite of it. That’s called maturity. As an older woman, I’ve seen the unacceptable become acceptable in our society and, in my opinion, that serves no one. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Rita,

      Your words are well spoken. I told my husband (though I find myself watching the news less and less often), I believe many of the tragedies we see can be linked back to an original source of pain that was never properly handled: shootings, beatings, corruption, fallouts – wars…

      People are hurt and angry about many things that are often unvoiced – and following said mismanagement and/or oppression, it boils over at the most inopportune moment.

      The expectation is not that people are perfect; but, I feel very strongly that we should make a concerted effort to learn how to handle whatever our struggles are.

      You’re right, what was once unacceptable at worst, seem widely praised. If for no one else, for future generations, we must do better.


    1. Dear Clare,

      I was so reluctant initially; but, it bothered me so terribly. I’m trying to discontinue reading the comments on the affair. I also believe that we can experience a type of media trauma when saturated with disturbing images over and over – and they are certainly giving this the workover.

      That being said, I do hope to grow from it personally and to encourage others to do the same. I won’t soon forget what I heard and saw, but it is definitely a reminder to work on myself. I hope that we will all do the same.


  2. I appreciate your time given to this horrifying incident. I did not watch the Oscar’s and was one of millions who watched it replayed on social media this morning. I am honestly still processing it all. Your slice resonates with me. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear macneilnwoodridge68org,

      I was among those millions with you. I didn’t have enough interest to watch the original telecast, but I certainly got an eyeful on social media.

      I’ve been continuing to process it as seemingly countless commenters (and onlookers) have weighed in. It is a lot to process. Such an unsettling matter, but one that I hope many will learn from. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.


  3. First of all, congratulations on your book! Which is certainly needed as far and wide as the eye can see. Second, thanks for taking on this topic in a thoughtful and caring manner. I’ll admit that my first response upon hearing about the incident was rooted in racial respectability. Your post offers many more helpful nuances in processing the scene and its ensuing ripples.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!

      I appreciate that. I’ve never been a fan of controversy and typically stay away from such topics, but I found this to be so gripping in terms of the collective response.

      I did want to address it cautiously because my goal was not to bring further embarrassment. I genuinely wanted to remind people that one, we have to be careful about putting people on a pedestal, and two, we must remember that we’re just as susceptible under the right circumstances to make bad choices as well – we just do it with less scrutiny than celebrities.

      I am clearly incentivized to continue working on myself. I’m thankful that God is more forgiving than we can be as people – and I’m working on being less judgmental. I’m too flawed for that.



  4. Pain. That was it in a nutshell. I agree it was an impulsive move, a lashing out. No one saw it coming up to and including the giver of said slap. The biggest shame of it all being that the loss of their temper will forever overshadow the most important win of their career. That is a pain that will haunt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday evening and I told him it is devastating that after decades in the industry, what happened in a span of 30 seconds could ruin years of hard work and sacrifice. How we handle our emotions is so critical. Hoping that this will be a powerful learning lesson for him later.


  5. There is so much to unravel in this post, as there is in the incident that you refer to throughout it. I have lots of thoughts, and have had them since I was alerted to the incident, but I had not considered the pain inherent in those involved and those affected through the witnessing of it all. I have a lot to continue to think about and now I have yet another lens to use. Thank you.


    1. Thank you so much for your feedback, Leigh Anne. I try intently to consider things from uncommon perspectives. This is truly what stood out to me most – and you’re right. It’s terribly sad…


  6. This section “This also serves as a keen reminder that though we ascribe superhuman status to those who are gifted and talented, we are quickly reminded of the common thread of flawed humanity that we all share. Celebrities are not exempt.” sat with me.
    The human-ness of, as you said so well, of pain, on so many different fronts, brings back how human everyone can be, and everyone is flawed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that something?! I can’t help but think about how we esteem them in such an ethereal fashion, which I know I’ve been guilty of. I do respect and admire their amazing talent; but, I feel that we have a tendency to become disillusioned.

      We fall in love with “characters” – people whose lives, personality, facial expressions and body language have literally been sculpted by writers and directors – and then we attach that affection to the people who portray them.

      I believe many of the actors/entertainers (or even athletes, for that matter) with whom we are enamored…well, we are more in love with characters they’ve depicted than the actual individuals themselves.

      I think we merge our perceptions of them as a cross between the characters we know and love and the snippets that they allow us to see that are quite sanitized and polished for TV readiness, if you will.

      When we see them “behaving badly,” we are taken aback. Perhaps it’s because the standards to which we’d aligned them to were never substantive (or realistic) at all. At the risk of restating, they are just as human as we are.

      Again, it just makes me glad that my life isn’t under a microscope. I shudder at the thought of what I’d be criticized for that I’ve not yet mastered to the satisfaction of the general public…

      Thank you so much for your response. I greatly appreciate it.


  7. Thank you, Carla for your timely essay on pain. It is such a powerful thing, impacting us in so many ways, physically and psychologically. It is not healthy to keep it bottled up inside ourselves, but most have opportunities to share with others in a safe environment, with loved ones, trusted friends, and lay or clerical professionals.

    If it is exposed in public, it tends to be overwhelmingly frightening to others whether it be expressed verbally or physically. As a result, reactions to such events are often erratic, at odds, condemnatory, or even incomprehensible.

    We can only thank God that we have not had our pain exposed in such a manner, and that we may have the grace to be forgiving as we have been forgiven.

    On other subjects, thank you for your recent poetry and reminiscences on family and the passing of time. Blessings on you and yours,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Mr. McCasland!

      It is so good to hear from you! I’ve missed your posts, and you’ve been on my mind lately! So glad to know that all is well with you.

      You bring up an important point. Public displays of pain at its zenith is terribly unsettling and utterly frightening. Your description of the subsequent responses is spot on.

      I am indeed grateful that God has seen fit to disallow similar circumstances for so many of us. Perhaps it is the beauty of the anonymity of an unknown fan vs. a widely-recognized celebrity.

      The poetry and reminiscing are a joy to share. I’m trying to be intentional about treasuring each day. It feels more important to me as we continue to hear about tragedies all over the world.

      It is a constant reminder that we have so much for which to be thankful. That said, I am also thankful for your encouraging words!

      Thank you kindly!


  8. I agree wholeheartedly with what you have written and how it has impacted the participants and the media and the usual social audience. People in these overt situations as you say, are only human and react like humans with weakness in many instances. I am sure your book is very powerful and enables you to have great insight into incidents like this that happen in the public eye. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear livinglife816287820,

      Thank you so much for your feedback. As I mentioned earlier, this plan was originally to write about how my life has changed after hearing from readers who were impacted by the book! I’m still stunned by the things they were willing to share with equivalent transparency.

      Becoming more conscientious about my own paint and more acquainted with the pain of others has increased my acute sensitivity to pain across a spectrum.

      Though I’ve never enjoyed experiencing painful things, I am certainly happy to have learned how to handle it and thankful that managing it more effectively has helped me to help others.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.