The Academy Awards ceremony is considered by most to be the top honors in Hollywood. The show has been going strong for 89 long years now and to keep that storied reputation the show is set-up to run like a well-oiled machine. Despite the dignified reputation of the Oscars, unfortunate history was made when the biggest story to come out of the awards wasn’t the winner of the evening’s biggest award, but rather that the incorrect movie was announced for Best Picture.
The stage was set for another big win for the film La La Land at the 89th Academy Awards. Emma Stone had already taken home a big win for Best Actress, Damien Chazelle took Best Director, and the film took home multiple other awards for Original Music, Cinematography, and Production Design. Those watching and in attendance waited in anticipation as the biggest award of the night was read.
Presenters and acting veterans Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway made Oscar history by announcing the incorrect winner for the award. La La Land was announced by Dunaway as the winner and it wasn’t until the full cast, crew and director of the film were on stage to graciously accept their award that the error was discovered. It turns out that Moonlight had actually won the award. It’s not often that errors like this occur at the Academy Awards ceremony. In fact, the only other known snafu in Oscar history is actually considered to simply be an urban legend. The reason for this is that there are a number of safeguards in place to preserve the integrity of the show.
It’s currently the job of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to tally the coveted Oscar ballots and handle the security and validity of the winners each year. There’s a reason that Oscar spoilers don’t leak online, there are only two people in the world that know the winners in advance and they’re both from PwC. You may have seen the two people that carry the briefcases handcuffed to their wrists on the red carpet. Those people are currently Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz.
Ruiz and Cullinan gave an interview to the Huffington Post a few days ago to assure readers that the supposed Marisa Tomei mix-up at the 1993 Oscars was only the thing of urban legend. The legend goes that presenter Jack Palance (Batman) read the incorrect name and Tomei wasn’t supposed to win Best Supporting Actress for My Cousin Vinny. Ruiz was confident that no incorrect winners could be announced:
“It’s him checking me and me checking him, and we do it multiple times against each other to make sure that when we leave and are ultimately handing the envelopes to someone, we’re very confident they’re getting the right envelopes and the contents in them are accurate,”
Warren Beatty has already confirmed that the only reason that this major mix-up occurred was that they were given the envelope for Emma Stone’s Best Actress win instead of the Best Picture envelope they were supposed to receive. Cullinan further commented on the procedure if something is to go wrong:
“We would make sure that the correct person was known very quickly. Whether that entails stopping the show, us walking onstage, us signaling to the stage manager — that’s really a game-time decision, if something like that were to happen. Again, it’s so unlikely.”
Those are some very confident statements that may need a little revising at this point.
The Academy Awards currently air each year on ABC.
Source: Huffington Post