"As you all know by now, this is the 51st annual Academy Awards. Two hours of sparkling entertainment spread out over a four-hour show."
—Johnny Carson, host, Academy Award ceremony, 1979
"Good evening, Hollywood phonies."
—Chevy Chase, salutation, hosting the Academy Award ceremony, 1988
"I never watched the Oscars. Come on, it’s a fashion show . . . What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars? Show me one. And they don’t recognize comedy, and you don’t see a lot of black people nominated, so why should I watch it?"
—Chris Rock, 77th Academy Awards host, quoted in Entertainment Weekly, 2005
"The solemnity of the annual Nobel ceremonies in Stockholm with the cheerful bad taste of the grand opening of a shopping center in Los Angeles."
—Vincent Canby, describing the Academy Award ceremony, 1983
"What does the Academy Award mean? I don’t think it means much of anything."
—Sally Field, 1980
"I have no regard for that kind of ceremony. I just don’t think they know what they’re doing. When you see who wins those things—or who doesn’t win them—you can see how meaningless this Oscar thing is."
—Woody Allen, 1978
"Awards are meaningless for actors, unless they all play the same part."
—Humphrey Bogart, 1943
"The Academy Awards are obscene, dirty . . . no better than a beauty contest."
—Dustin Hoffman, 1975
"The (Academy Award) ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons."
—George C. Scott, declining the Oscar for Best Actor, 1971
"Hello, my name is Sacheen Littlefeather. I’m Apache and president of the National Native American Affirmative Action Committee. I’m representing Marlon Brando tonight and he’s asked me to tell you in a very long speech which I cannot share with you presently because of time that he very regretfully cannot accept their very generous award and the reasons for this being the treatment of American Indians by the film industry."
—Sacheen Littlefeather (Maria Cruz), declining Brando’s Best Actor Award for The Godfather, 1973 Academy Awards