OSCARS BUNGLE IS COMEDY GOLD
IT’S been a year since the Academy Award for Monumental Television F... Up was awarded to … the Academy Awards.
A year since the film industry’s most coveted trophy — the Best Picture Oscar — was handed to the wrong people by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. A year since La La Land was crowned the winner for about two-and-a-half minutes before men wearing headsets and carrying clipboards rushed the stage and politely informed those making their acceptance speeches they had to hand over their shining statue to the team from Moonlight — the real winners.
It was incredible car crash television even the best writers couldn’t script. When comedian Steve Harvey crowned the wrong Miss Universe in 2015, few thought that colossal screw-up could ever be outdone. Wrong!
As outsiders looking in we can laugh at how absurd the whole situation was, but some were so traumatised they still have trouble talking about it a year down the track. Some won’t discuss it at all. Scott Feinberg, who covers the awards circuit for The Hollywood Reporter, spent months talking to some of the key players involved in what has since been cheekily nicknamed “Envelopegate”. But there were many more who wouldn’t revisit that night.
“They’d be willing to speak to me about other things, but they just said it was too emotional to go back to it,” he tells Insider. “They just felt there was nothing to be gained by talking about it further.”
If you read this statement without context you’d be forgiven for thinking Feinberg might have been trying to report on some kind of tragedy. Something that might take more than a year to get over. But such is the importance of the Oscars to those in the industry that it may as well have been something as bad.
While it was a few minutes of cringingly fabulous TV for us, for others it was their world. Multiple investigations were launched, people lost their jobs and the Academy was embarrassed.
On the plus side, Steve Harvey is a happy man. “The Oscars is the biggest night in Hollywood, and when they did it, I lit a cigar and drank a glass of scotch and celebrated. I was free! Thank you, God!” he told Feinberg.
Beatty and Dunaway, who weren’t to blame for the snafu, will be back to present the Best Picture award — what could possibly go wrong?
Hopefully Hollywood has a sense of humour. If Envelopegate isn’t a big part of Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue tomorrow night, I’m giving up on Tinseltown.