Best Picture Blunder Occurs At 89th Annual Academy Awards! Could It Be The Biggest One In Oscar History?

(PCM) Everyone is buzzing about the huge blunder that was made during the live telecast of the 89th annual Academy Awards when actor Warren Beatty and actress Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner for Best Picture of the Year. The biggest award of the night was supposed to go to the film “Moonlight”, however after a few awkward on-stage moments between Dunaway and Beatty they announced that “La La Land” was taking home the nights biggest honor.

It seems that Warren Beatty was handed the wrong envelope as he and Dunaway headed on stage to present. The envelope in Beatty’s hand was from the previous award handed out that evening which read “Best Actress: Emma Stone for “La La Land””!  Opps!  You could tell by Warren Beatty’s face when he opened the envelope to announce the winner that something was wrong, but both the audience and Dunaway thought that he was just being funny.

It is at that point we feel that Beatty should have went off teleprompter and revealed that he may have been handed the wrong card. But, no! Instead he exchanges a few awkward moments with Dunaway before literally throwing her under the bus to read the name off the card. You can tell she only glanced at it for a second, saw the name “La La Land” printed there and just assumed. Of course it was not Beatty, nor Dunaway’s fault that they were handed the wrong card backstage, but Beatty definitely could have handled the situation more smoothly.

It was only midway through the “La La Land’ producers acceptance speeches that you could begin to see confusion erupting on the stage. We have to give the “La La Land” crew major props for handling the situation with both dignity and grace, as it was brought to their attention that they really didn’t win. The cast and crew of “Moonlight” was then brought to the stage to rightfully accept their award.

The Academy did release a statement from accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers in regards to the incident which read:

We sincerely apologize to “Moonlight,” “La La Land,” Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.

We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.

—PwC

Many believed that this was the first time that such a major blunder has taken place during the Oscar’s telecast, however a similar situation happened with presenter Sammy Davis, Jr. back in 1964. Davis, Jr. was handed the wrong envelope for the award of Best Score, which at that time was broken down into two separate awards, adaptation and treatment. Davis, Jr was handed the envelope for adapted which was to go to the film “Tom Jones” which was the next award, as he was supposed to reading the award went to “Irma La Douce” for treatment instead. Beatty should have taken some notes as to just how Sammy Davis Jr handled the situation!

Director M.Night Shyamalan arguably had one of the best tweets of the night in regards to the situation!

We are glad that the entire situation was cleared up, however we definitely feel for the cast and crew of “La La Land” as we are sure there can be no worse feeling that having the honor of winning Best Picture and then having that moment torn away, despite the fact that “Moonlight” was a truly deserving film.

Many can recall that back in 1993 rumors circulated that after Marisa Tomei won the award for Best Actress for her role in the film “My Cousin Vinny” that actor Jack Palance had read the wrong name off the secret envelope because he couldn’t see the correct one. This rumor turned out to be false, as Tomei won her Oscar fair and square, but to this day, many believe that the award should have gone to either Judy Davis or Vanessa Redgrave that year. The Hollywood Reporter ran a special feature titled “And the loser is: Bad oscar rumor” which read:

A rumor is currently making the rounds in Manhattan, fanned by no less than the former son-in-law of a distinguished Academy Award winner, to wit that last year Marisa Tomei received her Oscar statue by error, with a resultant scandal about it soon to be exposed, much to the shame of the Academy. (All of this quite erroneous, I hasten to add, but do read on.) According to the rumor, it happened because Oscar presenter Jack Palance hadn’t been able to read the name written in the secret envelope when he was on stage announcing 1992’s best supporting actress winner. Instead of asking for help, so sayeth the tale, Palance arbitrarily called out Tomei’s name instead of the actual winner. (Since the story is bunk, there’s no need to reveal the name of the lady who was/is being bandied as the “real” winner of that specific prize.) It makes for provocative gossip, all right, but it didn’t happen. And for a good reason: When the Oscar ceremonies first went public on television back in 1953, Academy officials were aware of the possibility that one day some presenter might make such an error, either accidentally or for some mischievous purpose. So ever since then, at each and every Academy ceremony — including last night’s event, and the preceding year’s — two members of the accounting firm of Price-Waterhouse, the company that has tabulated the final Oscar ballots since 1935, are present in the wings during each Oscarcast. In the event a presenter should err in naming the correct winner in any category, said P-W official has been instructed to immediately go to the podium and announce that a mistake had been made. So Marisa, stand assured that Oscar is adamantly yours, no matter what rumor may sayeth to the contrary.

Mistakes can happen especially with live telecasts, however the blunder that took place at the 89th annual Academy Awards was definitely one that could have been avoided with a little more common sense. Seriously, you’ve had 89 years to get this right guys!

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