Chances are that if you’ve even vaguely glanced at the internet since Sunday, you’ve heard something about the Best Picture fiasco at this year’s Oscars. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the great and the good of Hollywood had descended to fist-fighting in the aisles, rending their expensive garments in disgust, screaming incoherent accusations of shady corruption and supreme injustice. As amazing as that would have been (my money would be on Meryl Streep incidentally), the reality is far more mundane.
Basically, someone handed the presenters – Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty of Bonnie and Clyde fame – the wrong envelope, leading to La La Land being announced as Best Picture instead of Moonlight. That’s it. While I conceded that it was massively embarrassing for everyone involved and made for some extremely awkward viewing – but that’s all that happened.
After initial blame was cast on the presenters themselves, an accounting company – PricewaterhouseCoopers, which have been compiling the results for the past 83 years – ultimately took the wrap, releasing not one but two apologetic statements and promising to do better. The Academy conducted a (brief) investigation and swore to take appropriate action (whatever that would be), and entertainment journalists the world over have been frantically googling synonyms for ‘snafu’ ever since.
Again, tremendously embarrassing, obviously – and presumably a slap in the face for the cast and crew of La La Land – but lets acknowledge this for what it was. A simple, though admittedly high profile, cock-up.