THE BIGGEST BLUNDER IN ACADEMY AWARDS HISTORY
We are all used to little screw ups at the Academy Awards but this was no teleprompter mix-up, stumble on the stairs or mispronounced name. La La Land was announced as the Best Picture winner at this year’s Academy Awards, the producers of the film got up on stage and gave their acceptance speech, and then they stopped and announced that a mistake had been made, and Moonlight was the real Best Picture winner after all.
This is a shocker on a lot of different levels. It’s an enormous error to make on camera, obviously, and credit goes to all of the producers of La La Land who handled the mix-up gracefully and congratulated the real winners immediately. It’s an embarrassing moment that is essentially unprecedented in the history of the Oscars telecast.
But beyond that, this represents an ENORMOUS upset at the Academy Awards. La La Land was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and was expected to take home most of them. Moonlight had earned the Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), but was considered an honorable also-ran by most pundits. That the film won Best Picture is an exciting move by the Academy, a step away from conventional “Oscar Bait” and towards original and inclusive dramatic material that challenges audiences while also tugging at their heartstrings.
Warren Beatty claims that he was given the wrong envelope, the one for Emma Stone’s Best Actress win. Jimmy Kimmel, the host of the Oscars this year, admitted the mistake quickly and joked that “the good news is we got to see some extra speeches,” before falling on his sword and quipping that it was his fault and he wouldn’t come back next year.
Congratulations to the producers of Moonlight, a film we had already declared the best motion picture of the year. Congratulations to La La Land for winning six Academy Awards and earning a fervent fanbase.
And congratulations to The Sixth Sense and Split director M. Night Shyamalan, who won Twitter tonight with the following tweet:
I wrote the ending of the academy awards 2017. @jimmykimmel we really got them!
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) February 27, 2017
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Top Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.