Yearstarter 2023: Entertainment - Slaps, trials, K-pop and Michelle Yeoh


Slaps, trials, and K-pop dominated showbiz headlines in 2022, as Michelle Yeoh finally ascended to the top of the global stage.

Slaps, trials, and K-pop dominated showbiz headlines in 2022, as Michelle Yeoh finally ascended to the top of the global stage. Here are some of the biggest Entertainment news of 2022.

Yeoh is everywhere all at once

What a year it was for Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh.

Not only did she get her first ever starring role in the cult hit Everything Everywhere All at Once, she has even been tipped for a Best Actress nomination for that role in this year's Oscars.Yeoh ended 2022 with two major highlights – being named Time magazine’s Icon Of the Year 2022 and a starring role in The Witcher: Blood Origin, the prequel to the hit Netflix fantasy series.

She also lent her voice to two major animated features – Minions: The Rise of Gru and Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, and was also in The School For Good And Evil.

'Everything Everywhere all at Once' has six Golde Globe nominations, including nods for Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis. – Photo: A24 via AP'Everything Everywhere all at Once' has six Golde Globe nominations, including nods for Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis. – Photo: A24 via AP

Yeoh also looks set to carry on her purple streak in 2023, with roles in Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts; Kenenth Branagh’s next Agatha Christie adaptation, A Haunting In Venice; and the TV adaptation of critically acclaimed graphic novel American Born Chinese.

She also has a role in James Cameron’s next two Avatar movies, due for release in 2024 and 2025 respectively.

Smith slaps Rock

It was the slap that was heard all over the world.

You know the story – Chris Rock, who was a presenter at the Oscars ceremony, made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. Will Smith decided to defend his wife’s honour by striding onstage and giving the comedian a slap.

Smith slapping Rock at Oscars was one of the year's most shocking moments. – AFPSmith slapping Rock at Oscars was one of the year's most shocking moments. – AFP

That shocking incident far overshadowed the entire Oscars ceremony itself. Do you even remember which film won best picture? We didn’t think so.

In the aftermath of that slap, the Academy decided to ban Smith – who won Best Actor at the Oscars – from its ceremony for an entire decade. Smith later came out to apologise to Rock, saying in an interview with Trevor Noah that he had "lost it".

Depp vs Heard

For close to two months, the trial that pitted former spouses Johnny Depp and Amber Heard against each other was all over the news.

Depp had sued Heard for defamation, after she previously accused him of abusing her.

The ensuing trial hogged headlines for almost its entire duration from April 11 to June 1, as Depp and Heard hurled lurid and sometimes shocking accusations at each other in their testimonies.Although the jury eventually ruled in favour of Depp, the trial may yet have lasting effects on both their careers.

Depp's defamation suit against Heard is one of the top stories of the year. – APDepp's defamation suit against Heard is one of the top stories of the year. – AP

Blackpink in every area

Last year was an extremely successful one for Blackpink.

Already one of the world’s biggest music groups, the quartet of Lisa, Ji-soo, Rose and Jennie released its second full album, Born Pink, in September to major acclaim and broke the record for the best-selling album by a Korean girl group.

The group then embarked on a nine-month, 27-city world tour that is set to make its way to Malaysia in March.

BlackPink at the recent 2022 MTV VMAs. – AFPBlackPink at the recent 2022 MTV VMAs. – AFP

All four girls also proved that they were individual stars in their own right, with their own successful solo hits, numerous brand endorsements, fashion week appearances, and even acting stints – Ji-soo was in K-drama Snowdrop, while Jennie will be appearing in HBO's The Idol this year.

BTS takes a break

Fellow K-pop juggernaut, BTS, also had a bumper year, with highlights including performing at the Grammy Awards in April and receiving a historic three nominations for this year's edition.

The group even paid a visit to US President Joe Biden at the White House in June.

BTS performing at the Grammy Awards show in April. – ReutersBTS performing at the Grammy Awards show in April. – Reuters

But the biggest BTS news came in June, when the band announced that it would be taking a hiatus, as its members focus more on their solo projects.

The group's label, Big Hit, also announced in October that the hiatus will probably last until each of its members have fulfilled their mandatory military service. In early December, Jin became the first member from the group to begin his stint.

Box office rejuvenation

After more than two years of pandemic lockdowns, cinemas were finally given the greenlight to reopen.

Major blockbusters like Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness, Jurassic Park: Dominion and Minions: The Rise Of Gru did brisk business as Malaysians flocked back to the cinemas. The biggest surprise was how well Top Gun: Maverick did, and also how good the movie actually was as well.Local films got in on the act as well, with Mat Kilau breaking the record for highest grossing local film of all time.

A scene from 'Thor: Love And Thunder,' which did not make it to Malaysian cinemas. – HandoutA scene from 'Thor: Love And Thunder,' which did not make it to Malaysian cinemas. – Handout

The biggest talking points of the year, however, were the no-shows of movies such as Lightyear and Thor: Love And Thunder, which were pulled from the Malaysian cinema schedules, presumably due to LGBT elements in the films.

The cancellation of the latter, especially, was a huge blow to local cinemas, which had been expecting the Marvel movie to pull in huge crowds.

Major deaths

Last year sadly saw the deaths of a number of famous entertainers.

Malaysia mourned the loss of popular actress-singer Adibah Noor; legendary RTM deejay and news presenter Constance Haslam; and celebrated playwright, actor and director Jit Murad, whose Spilt Gravy On Rice was finally released in cinemas a decade after he made it.

Malaysia mourned the passing of beloved artiste Adibah in June this year. – FilepicMalaysia mourned the passing of beloved artiste Adibah in June this year. – Filepic

International celebrity deaths included acclaimed actors William Hurt, James Caan, Bob Saget, Anne Heche, Sidney Poitier, Robbie Coltrane, Angela Lansbury and Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols

We also lost iconic musicians like Jerry Lee Lewis, Irene Cara, Olivia Newton-John, rapper Coolio, Meatloaf, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, Fleetwood Mac founding member Christine McVie, Aaron Carter, Naomi Judd and Queen Of Country Music Loretta Lynn.

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