Oscars: The 10 worst acceptance speeches of all time, from Matthew McConaughey to Gwyneth Paltrow

Louis Chilton
·1-min read
Singer Sam Smith attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California (Getty)
Singer Sam Smith attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California (Getty)

Delivering a great Oscar acceptance speech requires a bit of magic, with the winner having to strike just the right balance of charm and humility.

However, often the speeches most remembered are those that end in disaster.

Over the years, many actors have been booed, pitied or laughed at for their podium faux pas. Some speeches are too saccharine, others too long. The worst are when an actor thinks only of themselves.

Despite Frances McDormand’s empowering speech about Hollywood’s gender imbalance a few years back, attempts to inject the ceremony with political messaging haven’t always been handled so well. Oscar history is peppered with the uncomfortable silences and jeers that have invariably greeted bad political jokes and clumsy protests.

As the clock counts down to the 93rd awards ceremony, all of the nominees will be hoping to bring home a statue. But more than that, should they win, they will be hoping to accept the award with grace and composure – or else they risk falling into the ranks of these 10 historic misfires.

You can read the full list of 2021 Oscar nominations here.

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