The Most Controversial Oscars Moments Of All Time

If we’re being honest, the thing we look most forward to when it comes to awards shows—red carpet aside—is the inevitably batty behavior of a select few attendees each year. Sometimes these bizarre moments are scripted and just unfortunate in execution, while at other times they’re impromptu diversions provided by the event’s more eccentric participants. Either way, the Oscars have had their fair share of notorious moments; here are are 10 of the most outrageous.


Seth MacFarlane's "We Saw Your Boobs"

Some of the women mentioned in the song—like Charlize Theron and Naomi Watts—were allegedly in on the joke, and their negative reactions were prerecorded. Still, a lot of people took offense to this number, which opened the show in 2013. As Vulture's Margaret Lyons put it, "Actual gender equality is a ways away, but I'd settle for one four-hour ceremony where women aren't being actively degraded." Lena Dunham, Jane Fonda and others also publicly voiced their disapproval of the skit, making it one of the most-buzzed about moments in Oscars history. Watch it here.

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The First Oscar Winner's Nazi Connection

First-ever Academy Award winner Emil Jannings didn't exactly set a proud precedent for the Academy; he went on to make propaganda films for Nazi Germany. What's more: Author Susan Orlean, who wrote the book Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, claims that her research revealed that Emil was not even the true winner of that award but rather the runner-up to none other than famous German shepherd Rin Tin Tin. Given Jannings' dubious legacy, we're guessing the Academy now wishes they had given its first award to the dog.


The 1974 Streaker

If a wardrobe malfunction can cause chaos in 2004, as it did in the aftermath of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl performance, just imagine how shocking the 1974 Oscars streaker must have been. His name was Robert Opel, and he was a conceptual artist, photographer and gay rights activist who made history by flashing the peace sign as he strode nude across the stage as the award for Best Picture was about to be announced. Adding to the moment's notoriety were the words that followed from the event's co-host, David Niven: "Isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?" Watch a clip of the event here.

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Angelina Jolie's Incestuous Kiss

In today's Brangelina world, wherein the actress's image has been totally reimagined, it's hard to believe that she used to do things like carry Billy Bob Thornton's blood in a vial around her neck or make out with her brother, James Haven. Yep, at the 2000 Oscars, Angie raised eyebrows by gushing about her love for her brother onstage and kissing him in a not-so-sisterly manner offstage. It was later explained that this kiss took place on the first day their mother Marcheline received treatment for the cancer that later claimed her life, and that the siblings were simply emotional as a result. Watch Angie's pro-James speech here.

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Rob Lowe & Snow White's Disconcerting Duet

How this 1989 skit was approved, we may never know. Rob Lowe and Snow White sang "Proud Mary" in a performance that resulted in a lawsuit by Disney and an outraged letter calling the entire show an embarrassment, which was signed by marquee names like Julie Andrews and Paul Newman. Watch the skit here.


Dakota and Melanie's Uncomfortable Exchange

We totally understand Melanie Griffith's reluctance to watch 50 Shades of Grey, in which her daughter Dakota Johnson stars as the recipient of a crash course in BDSM, and we assume our mothers would feel the same way. Dakota was a bit less understanding when her mom voiced her aversion to the film on the red carpet at the 2015 Academy Awards, which resulted in one of the most awkward moments in Oscars history. Watch it here.

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Marlon Brando's No-Show

When Marlon Brando was announced as the winner of 1973's Best Actor award for his role in The Godfather, it wasn't he who took to the stage but Sacheen Littlefeather, an actress who was also president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee. Upon reaching the stage, she declined the award and said, "I'm representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you that he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry." The crowd interrupted her with boos, but eventually a few began to cheer her on. Still, the well-intentioned moment was uncomfortable for all involved. Watch it here.


James Franco Hosts Half-Asleep

We don't blame the Academy for thinking James Franco would make for a good host, particularly if balanced by Hollywood darling Anne Hathaway; however, he was, in practice, anything but. Maybe it was nerves that kept the actor from seeming at all engaged in his hosting duties, but whatever the reason, Franco bombed by appearing bored out of his mind throughout the entire telecast. Watch a clip here.

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Adrien Brody's Unsolicited Kiss

Adrien Brody has had a pretty weird career since his 2003 Oscar win for The Pianist, and we can't help but wonder if this notorious moment was some sort of harbinger of things to come from the actor. Though it's somehow ended up on a lot of Oscars "bests" lists, we can't help but cringe when watching Brody maul Halle Berry in front of hundreds of thousands of people, as we can only imagine how uncomfortable the whole experience was for the actress. Watch it here.


Crash's Best Picture Win

Not even the director of Crash thought it deserved to win Best Picture, an accolade the film beat out both Brokeback Mountain and Munich to claim. If you want to know more about why this film received so much flack after its nomination, read this hilarious exchange and view the Crash trailer here.