Per News Reelz:
Some have said the Will Smith slap against comedian Chris Rock was a ratings stunt. It was not. Considering the negative press Will Smith is getting (& some for Chris Rock too regarding an in-poor-taste joke), if this were fake, we’d be hearing it from the parties involved by now. That’s not to say that the slap didn’t spark viewer interest, however. According to Variety, the Oscars spiked during Smith’s Best Actor win and acceptance speech shortly after 11 p.m. ET, this time by 614,000 viewers.
Rightfully so, the most-watched portion of the entire show was the 15 minutes between 9:15 p.m. and 9:29 p.m., which saw “CODA” star Troy Kotsur win Best Supporting Actor. As for the slap, Viewership for Sunday’s Oscars on ABC grew by 511,000 viewers during the 15-minute time span that featured Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, according to Live + Same Day Nielsen data. The audience dipped again until Smith’s win for Best Actor.
Overall, the 2022 Oscars drew 16.6 million total viewers in final numbers released today, up 58% from last year’s record-low audience of 10.5 million.
What are your thoughts on these figures? Sound off!