Controversy stains the Oscars’ not-so-red carpet


CHS discusses their thoughts on the color change of the red carpet.

While the 95th Academy Awards show was free of face slaps, a new controversy brewed: the “red” carpet.

This year’s Oscars ceremony took place on March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. When the new carpet was unfurled a week prior to the event, it was a shock to see that it was no longer red but instead, champagne, breaking a 62-year tradition.

Host Jimmy Kimmel joked that the change was made to follow the incident of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars.

“I think the decision to go with a champagne carpet rather than a red carpet shows just how confident we are that no blood will be shed,” Kimmel said.

In reality, the idea to change the carpet color was spearheaded by Vogue contributor, Lisa Love, and the creative director of the Met Gala, Raúl Àvila. The pair believed the Oscars’ traditional red shade, Academy Red, didn’t complement outfits, nor photograph well. The light champagne color was used as a replacement for the red, in hopes of accentuating attendees’ fashion choices. This color also matched the orange tent covering the carpet, used to protect attendees from impending weather.

However, this change in tradition wasn’t welcomed with open arms. Instead, viewers and attendees caused an uproar. Sophomore Leigh Batzar of Middletown misses the original carpet color and wishes they had never changed it.

“I was not a fan of the color change because the Oscars’ red carpet is so iconic and it’s been the same for so many years. So the sudden switch without any warning was really a lot.”

Not only does it stray from tradition, but the light-colored carpet makes dirt and stains easily visible. Freshman Anya Alston of Middletown believes the champagne carpet belongs in a classroom, not at the Oscars.

“It’s the kind of rug that you would see a spilled stain on at school,” Alston said. “It doesn’t look clean and classy.”

Many viewers, including history teacher Courtney Conroy, questioned whether or not attendees were notified of this major change in advance.

“I have to wonder whether people knew that there was going to be a champagne carpet because some of them are blending in,” Conroy said. “I feel bad for them.”

Nominees were only aware that the carpet would be champagne a week in advance when it was revealed to the public. There was not ample time to plan accordingly, resulting in many outfits matching the carpet. Jaime Lee Curtis spoke out about the change via Twitter on March 11, 2023.

“Apparently, at the @TheAcademy Oscars, their carpet is going to match my drapes,” Curtis said. Curtis sported a rhinestoned beige gown which would have stood out on the traditional red carpet. Instead, she blended in with the altered shade, an issue many other nominees ran into.

“A lot of outfits would have looked amazing on a red carpet,” Conroy said. “But not on the champagne one.”