UNITED STATES—Well, that is one hell of a way to end awards season. The Oscars, which I’ve been watching for over 2 decades had a moment unlike any moment ever in history. By now, most of you should know or heard about the big debacle that transpired on the Oscar stage courtesy of “Bonnie and Clyde” stars Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.
Yep, the stars were taking the stage to announce the winner for Best Picture, which was crowned to “La La Land” only a few moments later, the audience and everyone at home was stunned with the revelation that the wrong envelope was handed and it was “Moonlight” who became the big winner. Yes, rarely do you see such debacles cause chaos at an awards ceremony, but this was all people could talk about on Sunday night, Monday, Tuesday and probably the rest of the week until the next scandal in Hollywood arises. So let’s decipher this scandal a bit people.
First, it was apparent that Beatty was concerned by what he was looking at. I mean he looked at the card several times and then even dug into the envelope to see if there was something missing. Instead of asking for clarification he passed off the envelope to Dunaway who announced “La La Land.” Now this wasn’t too much of a surprise because many people expected that musical to clean house. With that announcement the flick earned a total of 7 Oscars out of the 14 categories that the film was nominated for.
However, when cameramen and tons of behind the scenes people took the stage something was up. The cast and crew of “La La Land” were in awe, the audience was in awe, and I was at home watching wondering what in the world is happening. Then the big reveal comes courtesy of Jordan Horowitz who in the midst of utter chaos kept himself quite composed to say the least. I mean can you imagine giving a speech for a prize or award that you suspected you won to have it ripped away? Yeah, it’s emotional it’s difficult and I can only imagine the humiliation the cast and crew of “La La Land” experienced.
However, I was not a fan of Jordan snatching that card from Warren Beatty to showcase to the camera and the audience that it was indeed “Moonlight” who won the prize for Best Picture. I think he could have retrieved that envelope without snatching people, but I’m guessing he was a bit upset, but when he ushered in the cast and crew of “Moonlight,” as A-listers in the audience looked on in shock was a moment, it showed a tremendous amount of class. The acceptance speech by director Barry Jenkins and the film’s producers was a bit all over the place, but it sticks with the audience. Why? Cause it’s authentic, you have no idea how you would respond to such a debacle or uncertain.
At the same time, the raw emotion if it was announced to begin with that “Moonlight” was Best Picture may have delivered an even powerful speech from the cast and crew. So the aftermath is the big issue now, because everyone wants to know why Warren Beatty didn’t call for assistance or say something was wrong with the envelope. You’re being watched by millions of people and your peers, so to be honest I don’t know if I would have placed a huge spotlight on myself, but I would have said something.
I do not blame Beatty or Dunaway, the culprit is the accountant from PricewaterhouseCoopers who failed to ensure the correct envelope was delivered to Beatty. For those not in the know, two envelopes are always on hand at the Oscars. One for each presenter that comes to the stage (left and right), however, when Emma Stone took the Best Actress prize, that other envelope should have been discarded and it was NOT. Do I think this will HURT the accounting firm’s reputation? To some degree, but I can promise you the Academy will do EVERYTHING in its power to ensure such a scandal never happens again people.
I mean I can already expect a moment next year, where someone will be checking and reviewing the envelope before making the announcement. I will admit that moment made the 89th Annual Academy Awards one of the most talked about moment’s in history, and that video of the announcement will be a moment that people talk about over and over and over again.