Goldie Hawn thinks the Oscars have gone overboard with the politics.
The “Overboard” actress and Academy Award winner reflected on what she feels is a lack of glamour in modern Oscar ceremonies ahead of the 95th annual awards event this Sunday, March 12.
“It used to be elegant,” Hawn said in a Variety cover story. “I’m not old-fashioned, but sometimes jokes are off-color. And I’m missing reverence. Things have become politicized. I want to see people in awe. I want to see people believing again. I want to see people laughing more in a way that isn’t just at someone else’s expense.”
Hawn, who won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 1970 Oscars, shared that she does “regret” not attending the ceremony. “It’s something that I look back on now and think, ‘It would have been so great to be able to have done that,’” the “Cactus Flower” actress said, noting that Raquel Welch accepted the award on her behalf from presenter Fred Astaire. Hawn did not even watch the televised recording of the ceremony until more than 50 years later with 2023 Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel at a mutual friend’s party in early 2023.
But she did watch the 2022 ceremony: Hawn weighed in on the now-infamous Oscars slap, with Best Actor winner attacking presenter Chris Rock onstage over a joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s haircut.
“It’s indicative of our culture right now,” Hawn said. “I mean, you could look at it and say, ‘What the hell just happened?’ Somebody lost control. They lost their self-regulation. Their bigger brain wasn’t thinking, and they did something that was horrendous and also showed no remorse. That, to me, is a microcosm oftentimes of our world.”
She added, “Chris was brilliant — totally held on to and controlled his emotions, was able to stand with dignity. That’s an example of what we would like our world to look like. But, unfortunately, it isn’t right now.”
That is in part due to the lack of true movie stars anymore, according to Hawn.
“Where are they?” she said. “The old-fashioned movie star creates excitement. We used to be able to say, ‘I’m going to take a break because I think I’m overexposed.’ A lot of these people that are coming up are making more money than anybody ever made as an actor, but they’re not known.”
Hawn reflected that while romantic comedies are labeled as “too pedestrian and not interesting” in modern cinema (“how sad“), negative-fueled cancel culture is on the rise to thwart comedy in general.
“I think that it’s important to stand vigilant on people’s behavior and really understand when they’re out of line and be able to handle it. But I’m concerned about these areas: Suddenly you don’t have a job. Suddenly you can’t date a woman within the business or you’re going to get fired. They’re canceling books — classic books that no one can read. I don’t like that,” Hawn said. “There’s mistrust everywhere. So not only is there cancel culture, but there are culture wars. Schools are being politicized. But for the greater good of our children? No one’s really looking at that. There’s a disruption now. Disruptions are good. But imbalance isn’t.”
She continued, “I hope to get back to some level of sensibility and fairness. So ‘cancel culture.’ The word itself scares me more than anything. It’s rigid, concretized thinking, which is not good. It’s got double edges on it. And who has the right to cancel? The level of sensitivity is so high that comedians are afraid to tell certain jokes the way they used to. And it’s a bit of a quandary for comedians; there are things you can’t say and so on and so forth. I mean, it’s fine. There are certain areas that I agree with. But the level of sensitivity is unforgiving. That’s not a good feeling when you’re in a creative mode.”