Melissa Leo’s acceptance speech F-bomb was the first ever at the Oscars, cementing her place in telecast history while fulfilling her run as the presumed favorite in the supporting actress category.
Leo had already raised eyebrows in the run-up to the show with her self-funded Oscar campaign, consisting of ads in Hollywood trades, including a glossy, full-page back cover in Variety.
“Really, really, really, wow,” Leo said as she took the stage early in the Sunday kudocast. “When I watched Kate (Winslet) two years ago, it looked so fucking easy!”
Censors managed to bleep the offending word in time, and Leo clearly realized what she’d just done, but carried on.
The Academy confirmed that it was the first time anyone used the word during the telecast; The only other time the Oscarcast had to hit the bleep button was at the start of Three 6 Mafia’s perf of “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” in 2005.
Perhaps Leo was channeling Alice Ward, the feisty, foul-mouthed mother and manager of boxers she played in “The Fighter.” Castmate Christian Bale got a big laugh in his own supporting-actor acceptance speech shortly after, when he promised he would not “drop the F-bomb” as Leo had.
David Seidler, picking up his hardware for original screenplay for “The King’s Speech,” said: “I’d like to thank the queen for not putting me in the Tower of London for using the Melissa Leo ‘F-word'” in the movie.
And even co-host Anne Hathaway got into the act, saying as she gave away a plate of sushi during a raffle she staged during commercial break, “As Melissa Leo would say, it’s really good fucking sushi!”
Backstage, Leo apologized, saying her speech was “a very inappropriate place to use (those words) … I apologize to anyone that they offend.”