Oscar 2010: Never Use the F-Word

Melissa Leo’s acceptance speech F-bomb was apparently the first ever at an Oscar show!

This single word guarantees her place in Oscar history, while fulfilling her fantasy as the sentimental favorite in the Supporting Actress category.

Earlier Leo had won the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild award for her loud, brassy performance in “The fighter.”

Leo is a good, serious actress, winning a best Actress Oscar nomination in 2008 for the indie film, “Frozen River.”

But questions are asked whether Leo, in a desperate effort to win the gold statuette, has become a product and a victim of the Hollywood publicity machine?

Oscar history, as I had documented in my book, All About Oscar: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards (1986, 1990, 2003), is filled with stories of extensive, over-the-top personal campaigns.

Need I mention Supporting Actor nominee Chill Wills (“The Alamo,” 1960), who was even reproached by his co-star and the film’s director, John Wayne.

Or Sally Kirkland (“Anna,” 1987), who many believe received her Best Actress nomination largely due to the efforts of her publicists, who took ads, arranged for private screenings, and threw lunches and dinners on her behalf.

Melissa Leo had already raised eyebrows in the run-up to the show with her extensive and expensive self-funded Oscar campaign, taking many 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 telecast. “When I watched Kate (Winslet) two years ago, it looked so fucking easy!”

the censors managed to bleep the offending word in time, and Leo clearly realized what she’d just done, but carried on.

The Academy later confirmed that it was the first time anyone used the word during the telecast. Reportedly, the only other time the Oscarcast had to hit the bleep button was at the start of Three 6 Mafia’s performance of the song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” in 2005.

Insiders say Leo was so excited, perhaps even  channeling her Oscar-winning role, as Alice Ward, the feisty, foul-mouthed mother and manager of boxers she played in “The Fighter.”

Fellow actor Christian Bale, who plays her son in “The Fighter,” 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, getting the Oscar 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.

Co-host Anne Hathaway also got into the act, saying as she gave away a plate of sushi during a raffle she staged during one of the commercial breaks, “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.”