Monday, February 27, 2017

The big Oscar screwup: how could this happen??

Unless you've been living in a hole, you've heard about what happened at the Oscars last night. I mean, when the Best Picture award (crown jewel of the evening) was announced.

Announced WRONG.

There are lots of gifs of this gaffe (a gif of a gaffe!), but most of them are half a second long. I don't know why entertainment websites do this. It's true that longer ones have to sort of download each time you play them, which means they go through one full cycle before playing at the right speed. So somehow they prefer jerk, jerk, jerk to an attractive still picture. This is why so many people hate gifs.

Mine are at least ten seconds long, sometimes 15. Anyway, in this one, the producer of La La Land, who was just told his movie won Best Picture, has to hand the award away to the producer of Moonlight (whose movie ACTUALLY won Best Picture). Confused? I don't blame you. What I like most of all is the way people are milling around, going this way and that, not knowing where they are supposed to be. Has anyone ever been dragged off the stage after winning Best Picture?

In this one, Warren Beatty (who didn't announce the erroneous winner, but handed the card to Faye Dunaway so SHE would make the fatal mistake) tries to make an excuse for what happened. He
"explains" that the card said "Best Actress, Emma Stone" on it.

He knew there was a problem. He knew there was a mistake.

This wasn't the right card. It couldn't be. It didn't say Best Picture on it. It said Best Actress, Emma Stone.

So why didn't he say, "Uhh, guys, this is the wrong card"? Instead, he just handed it over for Faye Dunaway to deal with. It's called passing the buck.

There are those who are saying it's unthinkable to correct the Academy, to show them up as having made a mistake. Better that it land on your own head! People are saying this has never happened before. But the wrong envelope was given to Sammy Davis Jr., years ago, when he was presenting a music award. Fortunately he knew enough about the music industry (and imagine someone being educated in their field!) to say, "Sorry, folks, I was given the wrong envelope." The mistake was very quickly corrected and the show went on with a minimum of embarrassment, though someone's head probably rolled.

Gasps, tears, shouts of joy, phony congratulations from the La La Land people. Imagine how they must feel. I mean - imagine how they must REALLY feel, as opposed to what they are allowed to show.

Sorry about all the long shots. There were a lot of quick cutaways because the camera guys just didn't know what to do. There are always a number of perspectives to choose from, so the producers/directors (or whoever does it) had to make some quick choices as to whose reactions to avoid.

Jimmy Kimmel, profoundly embarrassed that the biggest gig of his life had to end this way.

Sammy Davis Jr., making everyone laugh (a sure audience tension-reliever and a way to dispel embarrassment), then getting it right. Nice save.

A super-jerky gif from somebody else's site. If you had a shot of this priceless reaction from Meryl Streep and wanted to make a gif of it, why not a 15-second one? It would've been superb. I think this may be an outtake, as I am sure the camera people were trying to avoid winces and frowns. God, the panic!

(From the New York Times) HERE'S how it could happen:

PricewaterhouseCoopers prepares two identical sets of sealed envelopes. The two partners from the firm who oversee the voting process, Martha L. Ruiz and Brian Cullinan, each have a briefcase with a complete set of the envelopes inside and stand on opposite sides of the stage.

The envelope for best actress, the penultimate award of the night, came from the side of the stage where Ms. Ruiz stood.

After Ms. Stone accepted that honor, Ms. Dunaway and Mr. Beatty came out to present the best picture award from Mr. Cullinan’s side of the stage, where a best actress envelope was still unopened. Mr. Cullinan clearly handed Mr. Beatty the wrong envelope.

After Mr. Cullinan and Ms. Ruiz realized that the wrong winner had been announced, they notified the stage manager, which set in motion a chaotic scene onstage. Those details, provided by two people familiar with the process who were not authorized to speak publicly, helped clarify some of the details of what happened onstage Sunday night.

Yet it still took more than two minutes between Ms. Dunaway announcing “La La Land” as best picture and an announcement from the “La La Land” producers that “Moonlight” was in fact the winner. Three “La La Land” producers had given acceptance speeches before the mistake was announced.

Exactly how the confusion resulting in Mr. Beatty’s being handed the wrong envelope occurred is not fully known. But it could have to do with the design. PricewaterhouseCoopers used a new envelope this year, featuring red paper with gold lettering that specifies the award inside. That may have made the outside of the envelopes more difficult to read than last year’s envelopes, which featured gold paper and red lettering. The academy is responsible for the envelope design.

Blogger's note. Mr. Cullinan, you are officially screwed.

Oh, and one more thing. That gif of Meryl Streep "reacting"? It's fake. Or at least, it's the wrong one (speaking of the wrong one). Either that, or THIS one is wrong. I like the way she seems to be saying, "NO - !"

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