How The Oscars Are Changing To Avoid Another Best Picture Disaster

Warren Beaty with the right envelope

Awards shows are major TV events every year, as millions of cinephiles and casual moviegoers tune in to see the glamor, speeches, and snubs. But since these ceremonies are on live TV, missteps and mistakes become instantly viral. That's exactly what happened with last year's Academy Awards. The final and most prestigious award of Best Picture was flubbed, as presenter Warren Beaty was given the wrong envelope and falsely named La La Land as the winner. While this was eventually rectified and Moonlight was given the award, now it looks like the Oscars are taking special precautions to ensure the same mistake doesn't happen again.

PricewaterhouseCoopers seems to be taking last year's misstep very seriously, and the company is making quite a few measures to rectify the Oscars. It starts with having a balloting partner in the control room of the Oscars itself. The partner will have the winners committed to memory, so if the wrong winner is announced, the situation can be promptly rectified. There are historically two people like this stationed on either side of the stage, but another emergency reference will set up as well.

Of course, this likely wouldn't have stopped Warren Beaty and Faye Dunnaway from being given the wrong envelope last year. As such, the handing over of envelopes is being paid special attention to. Per USA Today's report on the changes, both the celebrity presenter and the show's stage manager will confirm the envelope is for the proper category. This double check is probably all it would take to ensure that #envelopegate doesn't happen again, but there are still more changes being made thanks to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The three balloting partners will also attend the Oscars rehearsal, and will practice how to fix various potential issues. Last year's Moonlight stumble took quite a long time to fix, so this time PWC and The Academy Awards are making sure that every possible mistake has a game plan.

It should be interesting to see if The Academy Awards and its host Jimmy Kimmel poke fun at the Best Picture flub from last year. It was a major pop culture event, so it would stand to reason that Kimmel would take the jab at the organization who is paying him so much to host. We saw John Travolta attempted to pull a similar move after massacring the name of Idina Menzel. The flubs of the year before are at everyone's minds, and it's too easy not to poke some fun at the situation.

As a reminder, you can check out last year's cringeworthy snafu below.

It just doesn't get any easier to watch.

With PricewaterhouseCoopers taking extra measures to ensure that the 90th Academy Awards go off without a hitch, we should rest assured that the proper envelopes will be handed out. But since it's live TV, there are plenty of things that could still go wrong.

This year's Academy Awards will air on March 4th, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your trips to the movies this year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.