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Did that really happen? I mean, really? And how can that happen? HOW? At the Academy Awards on Sunday night, Warren Beatty was somehow handed the wrong card when he went on stage with Faye Dunaway to announce the Best Picture. Not Best Documentary Short. Not Best Song. BEST PICTURE. The biggest award of the evening, and he was given the wrong card. How? Well, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the audit and assurance firm tasked with handling the nominees on Oscars night made a mistake. This is their official statement, issued in the wee hours of Oscars night:
In the statement, PricewaterhouseCoopers admits that there WAS a mistake, but can not yet reveal HOW this happened. As we dissected last night, Emma Stone has gone on record to say that she still has the card that declared her Best Actress, which was held by Leonardo DiCaprio and assumedly kept for Stone as a keepsake. Which makes complete sense.
So there are duplicate cards backstage at the Oscars? Why? What is the need for the briefcases, and the secrecy, if there's even a remote possibility that the wrong card -- a duplicate card -- can be handed to celebrity presenters who are being asked to go out on stage in front of hundreds of millions of television viewers (and a live audience of the biggest stars on the planet) and read the one card that's supposed to be in the envelope?
What will the PricewaterhouseCoopers "investigation" reveal? Do they know the whole time that there are multiple copies of the cards and envelopes being handed to the presenters backstage? Listen, a lot of things went wrong for this to actually happen. There were too many Best Actress cards. Someone handed Warren Beatty the wrong card. Beatty didn't immediately call someone's attention when he saw it was the wrong card. There were several wrong turns that led to this historic debacle.
The Academy has been surprisingly silent so far, allowing PricewaterhouseCoopers to fall on the sword and issue the apologies. But it's tragic, really. On a morning when we should be celebrating the artistic accomplishments of Moonlight, La La Land, Manchester By The Sea, Hacksaw Ridge, Fences and all of the films and talent that took home Oscars on Sunday night, we're instead watching executives wipe egg off of their face for allowing an historic blunder to occur on the biggest stage in Hollywood.
Photo Credit: ABC/Eddy Chen