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John Cena’s Oscars Moment Explained

Key Points:

  • John Cena’s ‘naked’ moment at the 2024 Oscars was a nod to the infamous 1974 Oscars streaker incident.
  • The 1974 streaker was photographer Robert Opel, who protested nude on stage during the ceremony.
  • Cena’s appearance aimed to recreate the historical moment, adding humor to the prestigious event.

During the 96th Academy Awards ceremony, John Cena caused a stir by appearing on stage with nothing but an envelope covering his lower half, leaving little to the imagination for viewers and the audience alike.

John Cena’s Nod to 1974 Oscars Streaker Robert Opel

Oscars 2024 - Nearly naked John Cena
Oscars 2024 – Nearly Naked John Cena

According to Elle, John Cena’s ‘naked’ moment was a nod to the infamous streaker incident that occurred during the 46th Academy Awards in 1974. That year, photographer Robert Opel ran onto the stage nude, interrupting the ceremony and shocking the audience.

As David Niven, the host at the time, introduced Elizabeth Taylor to present the Best Picture award, Opel unexpectedly streaked across the stage behind her.

Niven famously quipped, “Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen… But isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”

While the incident was initially believed to be spontaneous, Opel later revealed that his streaking was a form of social protest. “It was a social comment,” Opel’s nephew, Robert Oppel, told EW in 2018.

Opel went on to open a queer-centered art gallery in San Francisco and continued his protests against nudity laws, even interrupting a Los Angeles City Council meeting. Tragically, he lost his life in 1979 during an attempted robbery.

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John Cena’s Oscars Moment Adds Humor to Prestigious Event

By recreating the iconic streaker moment, John Cena’s appearance aimed to add a touch of humor and levity to the prestigious Oscars ceremony. While Cena’s stunt may have caused hilarity among viewers and attendees, it also served as a nod to Oscars history and the legacy of Robert Opel’s daring protest.

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The 96th Academy Awards ceremony aired live on ABC on Sunday, March 12th, 2024.

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