Oscars Fiasco Explained
If you watched the Oscars Sunday night, or really, even if you didn’t, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the absolutely cringe-worthy moment in which “La La Land” was mistakenly announced Best Picture.
There are of course promises of “a full investigation” into the incident, but that doesn’t change the fact that it happened.
A night that most non-celebrities quickly forget, the 89th Academy Awards certainly was anything but.
Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway took to the stage to announce Best Picture, in what was easily the most awkward experience of the night.
There was an exchange of very awkward glances followed by a very hesitant announcement that felt like it took forever.
The audience laughed uncomfortably at the amount of time it took the presenters to name the winner, assuming it was an attempt to add to the suspense felt by those in the category for the most anticipated award of the night.
However, the presenters, supposedly with a card for Best Actress rather than Best Picture, read the film title that was on the card that had been given to them, and the rest is already history.
The PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) that were in charge of tallying votes and distributing envelopes, claimed Beatty and Dunaway “had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope.”
Beatty confirmed this theory in claiming while on stage, “I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope and it said, ‘Emma Stone, La La Land.’ That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and [the audience]. I wasn’t trying to be funny.”
Meanwhile, backstage was its own nightmare.
There was reportedly a stagehand in back pacing and claiming, “Oh … Oh my god, he got the wrong envelope.”
And really, it only got more awkward.
For one thing, it got to the point in which the entire cast and crew of “La La Land” had made their way to the stage and gotten through a majority of their acceptance speeches.
It wasn’t until they were practically finished that producer Jordan Horowitz claimed, “There’s been a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won Best Picture.” The phrase “this is not a joke” was repeated several times, just to add to the craziness of the situation.
Of course, the audience audibly gasped and the following moments were hectic, to say the least.
Backstage, Emma Stone asked, “Is that the craziest Oscar moment of all time?”
It definitely was, and very quickly #envelopegate was trending.
This was by far the biggest goof of the night, though it wasn’t the only one.
According to Jan Chapman, an Australian producer, her picture was used during the In Memoriam segment rather than her friend and colleague’s photo (Janet Patterson) who had actually passed.
According to Chapman, “Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up.”
And to explain the process for tallying and envelopes, PwC partners Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz are the only two individuals that know the results of the Oscars beforehand. It’s the two of them, and that’s it.
These two are solely responsible for counting the votes of the 7,000 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members.
According to Ruiz, “It’s up to Brian and I to fully count everything together once, twice, and sometimes multiple times to make sure it’s correct.”
In other words, the entire process is manual. No technology is involved. It’s just these two, counting the ballots and tallying the results.
According to the company, there are “no scanning machines. No computers … [and] no security breaches.”
Of course, that doesn’t matter when the presenter is handed the wrong envelope.
They both memorize every winner, just in case something goes wrong with the envelopes, and they reportedly quiz one another so they know the names of every actor, actress, actor, film, director, song and technical crew. They literally know it all.
They both carry a briefcase that has a complete set of ballots, and each of them take different routes to Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre just in case.
And, more dramatically, they each have their own team of security from the LAPD and stand on opposite sides of the stage handing the ballots to the presenters before they go on stage.
And for the past 83 years, this system has worked really without error. These 83 years were those in which the PwC has been responsible for counting Oscar votes.
Emma Stone reportedly claimed she’d been holding her Best Actress card since she’d won prior to the announcement of Best Picture, and was correct in saying so — it just so happens (which is a fact many weren’t familiar with prior to tonight) that there are in fact two copies of this card, and the copy is the one that ended up on stage at the wrong time.
Before the ceremony on Sunday, Cullinan said, “It’s such a long-term relationship that we know intricately how everything works, the timing of it, the process that we use, and they have absolute trust in us and what we do.”
The statement ended up feeling a little ironic given the events that transpired Sunday night.
Apply to Write for Uloop NewsJoin the Uloop News Team
Discuss This Article
More Uloop Entertainment Articles
Recent SF State News Articles
SF STATE Housing Listings
WRITE FOR ULOOPApply to Write for Uloop News
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
TOP 5 NEWS ARTICLES
BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES
- By CollegeUC Santa BarbaraCal PolyUC DavisUC IrvineUC San DiegoUC Santa CruzStanford UniversityUCLACal Poly PomonaCSU ChicoCSU FullertonCSU Long BeachCSU NorthridgeCSU SacramentoUC BerkeleyPepperdine UniversitySan Diego StateSan Francisco State UniversitySan Jose State UniversityUSCCalifornia State University-San BernardinoCalifornia State University-FresnoCalifornia State University-Los AngelesUC RiversideCalifornia Institute of TechnologyCalifornia State University-Dominguez HillsCalifornia State University-East BayOccidental CollegeLoyola Marymount UniversityCabrillo CollegeAlliant International UniversityAzusa Pacific UniversityAntelope Valley CollegeBakersfield CollegeBiola UniversityBrooks Institute of PhotographyCalifornia Baptist UniversityClaremont McKenna CollegeCalifornia Pacific UniversityCalifornia State University Monterey BayCuesta CollegeConcordia University IrvineCalifornia State University Channel IslandsDiablo Valley CollegeBethany UniversitySanta Barbara City CollegeFive Branches UniversityWest Valley CollegeWestmont CollegeUC MercedUC Hastings College of the LawPalomar CollegeSaint Mary's CollegeSonoma State UniversitySierra CollegeChapman UniversitySaddleback CollegePacific Union CollegePierce CollegePasadena City CollegeFeather River CollegeCalifornia Culinary AcademyMira Costa CollegeLos Rios Community College DistrictLas Positas CollegeGrossmont CollegeIrvine Valley CollegeMenlo CollegeAllan Hancock CollegeHumboldt State UniversityUniversity of San DiegoUniversity of San FranciscoLoma Linda UniversityFullerton CollegeSanta Clara UniversityChabot CollegeFoothill CollegeNational UniversityButte CollegeAcademy of Art UniversityWhittier CollegeLincoln UniversityMerced CollegeCalifornia State University-BakersfieldSanta Monica CollegeMt. San Jacinto CollegeCoast Community College DistrictRiverside Community CollegeUniversity of the PacificPomona CollegeLa Sierra UniversityScripps Research InstituteDe Anza CollegeGrossmount-Cuyamaca Community CollegeAmerican Intercontinental UniversityArt Center College of DesignCalifornia College of the ArtsCalifornia Institute of Integral StudiesCalifornia Institute of the ArtsCalifornia Lutheran UniversityCSU San MarcosCalifornia State University-StanislausClaremont Graduate UniversityClaremont McKenna CollegeDominican University of CaliforniaEx-Pression College for Digital ArtsFielding Graduate UniversityFresno Pacific UniversityFuller Theological SeminaryGolden Gate UniversityHoly Names UniversityJohn F Kennedy UniversityMills CollegeMount St Mary's CollegeMusicians InstituteNaval Postgraduate SchoolNotre Dame de Namur UniversityOtis College of Art and DesignPacific Oaks CollegePoint Loma Nazarene UniversitySamuel Merritt CollegeSimpson UniversityThe Art Institute of California-Los AngelesThe Art Institute of California-Orange CountyThe Art Institute of California-San DiegoThe Art Institute of California-San FranciscoThe Fashion Institute of Design & MerchandisingThe Master's College and SeminaryUC San FranciscoUniversity of La VerneUniversity of RedlandsVanguard University of Southern CaliforniaPeralta CollegeWestern University of Health SciencesWoodbury UniversityCity College of San FranciscoCalifornia Institute of the Healing Arts and SciencesCypress CollegeEast Los Angeles CollegeLos Angeles City CollegeCollege of MarinOhlone CollegePitzer CollegeSouthern California Institute of ArchitectureScripps CollegeWorld Mission UniversityThe Wright InstituteCerro Coso Community CollegeCollege of the DesertSan Diego City CollegeArgosy UniversityImperial Valley CollegeModesto Junior CollegeShasta CollegeCollege of San MateoCollege of SiskiyousLassen Community CollegeVentura CollegeNewSchool of Architecture + DesignAmerican River College Barstow Community College DistrictBerkeley City College Citrus CollegeCoastline Community College College of Alameda College of the Siskiyous Contra Costa College Contra Costa Community College DistrictCosumnes River College Cuyamaca College El Camino College-Compton Community Ed CenterEvergreen Valley College Fresno City College Glendale Community College (CA)Laney College Long Beach City College Los Angeles Harbor College Los Angeles Mission College Los Angeles Southwest College Los Angeles Trade-Technical CollegeMoorpark College Mt San Antonio College North Orange County Community College DistrictOrange Coast College Palo Verde College Porterville College Reedley College Rio Hondo College Sacramento City College San Diego Community College DistrictSan Diego Mesa College San Diego Miramar College San Joaquin Delta College San Jose City College San Jose-Evergreen Community College DistrictSkyline College Solano Community College South Orange County Community College DistrictState Center Community College DistrictTaft College Ventura County Community College DistrictVictor Valley CollegeWest Hills Community College- CoalingaWest Hills Community College DistrictWest Hills Community College-LemooreWest Los Angeles College Woodland Community College Yosemite Community College DistrictYuba CollegeFashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-San DiegoFashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-San FranciscoAcademy for Jewish Religion-CaliforniaAcademy for Salon ProfessionalsAcademy of Esthetics and CosmetologyAdvance Beauty CollegeAdvance Beauty Techs AcademyAdvanced Career InstituteAdvanced CollegeAdvanced Computing InstituteAlhambra Beauty CollegeAlliant International University-FresnoAlliant International University-IrvineAlliant International University-Los AngelesAlliant International University-SacramentoAlliant International University-San DiegoAlliant International University-San FranciscoAllied American UniversityAmerican Baptist Seminary of the WestAmerican Beauty CollegeAmerican Career College at St FrancisAmerican Career College-AnaheimAmerican Career College-Long BeachAmerican Career College-Los AngelesAmerican Career College-OntarioAmerican College of HealthcareAmerican College of Traditional Chinese MedicineAmerican Conservatory TheaterAmerican Institute of Massage TherapyAmerican Jewish UniversityAmerican Medical Sciences CenterAngeles InstituteAnnenberg School of NursingAntioch University-Los AngelesArgosy University-San DiegoAshdown College of Health SciencesAsher CollegeAsian American International Beauty CollegeAssociated Technical College-Los AngelesATEP at IVCATI College-NorwalkAvance Beauty CollegeAveda Institute-Los AngelesBaldwin Park Adult & Community EducationBay Area Medical AcademyBay Area Medical Academy - San Jose Satellite LocationBeaumont Adult SchoolBellus Academy-El CajonBellus Academy-National CityBellus Academy-PowayBethel Seminary-San DiegoBethesda UniversityBeyond 21st Century Beauty AcademyBlake Austin CollegeBlake Austin College Beauty AcademyBrand CollegeCalifornia Beauty SchoolCalifornia Career CollegeCalifornia Career InstituteCalifornia Christian CollegeCalifornia College San DiegoCalifornia Hair Design AcademyCalifornia Healing Arts CollegeCalifornia Miramar UniversityCalifornia Nurses Educational InstituteCalifornia Western School of LawCambridge Junior College-WoodlandCambridge Junior College-Yuba CityCanada CollegeCareer Academy of BeautyCareer Care InstituteCareer College of CaliforniaCareer Development Institute IncCareer Networks InstituteCarrington College-Citrus HeightsCarrington College-PomonaCarrington College-SacramentoCarrington College-San JoseCarrington College-San LeandroCasa Loma College-Anaheim CampusCasa Loma College-Van NuysCentral California SchoolCentral Coast CollegeCerritos CollegeCES CollegeCET-CoachellaCET-El CentroCET-OxnardCET-SacramentoCET-San BernardinoCET-San DiegoCET-Santa MariaCET-SobratoCET-SoledadCET-WatsonvilleCharles A Jones Career and Education CenterCharles R Drew University of Medicine and ScienceCharter College-Canyon CountryChurch Divinity School of the PacificCinta Aveda InstituteClaremont School of TheologyClovis Adult EducationCoachella Valley Beauty CollegeCoachella Valley Beauty College-BeaumontCoast Career InstituteCoastline Beauty CollegeCogswell CollegeColeman UniversityCollege of the CanyonsCollege of the RedwoodsCollege of the SequoiasColton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational ProgramColumbia College-HollywoodComputer Training AcademyComputer Tutor Business and Technical InstituteConcorde Career College-Garden GroveConcorde Career College-North HollywoodConcorde Career College-San BernardinoConcorde Career College-San DiegoCopper Mountain Community CollegeCosmo Beauty AcademyCosmo Factory Cosmetology AcademyCrafton Hills CollegeCRU InstituteDesign Institute of San DiegoDiamond Beauty CollegeDominican School of Philosophy & TheologyDongguk University-Los AngelesDowney Adult SchoolElite Cosmetology SchoolEverest College-AlhambraEverest College-AnaheimEverest College-City of IndustryEverest College-GardenaEverest College-ResedaEverest College-West Los AngelesFashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Orange CountyFederico Beauty InstituteFlair Beauty CollegeFolsom Lake CollegeFour-D CollegeFranciscan School of TheologyFredrick and Charles Beauty CollegeFremont CollegeGalaxy Medical CollegeGavilan CollegeGemological Institute of America-CarlsbadGolden Gate University-Los AngelesGolden Gate University-Silicon ValleyGolden State College of Court ReportingGrace Mission UniversityGraduate Theological UnionGurnick Academy of Medical ArtsHacienda La Puente Adult EducationHair California Beauty AcademyHeald College-ConcordHeald College-ModestoHeald College-RosevilleHeald College-SalinasHeald College-San JoseHeald College-StocktonHigh Desert Medical CollegeHilltop Beauty SchoolHinton Barber CollegeHomestead SchoolsHorizon UniversityHumphreys College-ModestoHumphreys College-Stockton and Modesto CampusesHypnosis Motivation InstituteInfoTech Career CollegeInstitute for Business and TechnologyInstitute of Technology IncIntegrity College of HealthInterCoast Colleges-BurbankInterCoast Colleges-CarsonInterCoast Colleges-Elk GroveInterCoast Colleges-FairfieldInterCoast Colleges-OrangeInterCoast Colleges-RosevilleInterior Designers InstituteInternational College of CosmetologyInternational Culinary Center-CaliforniaInternational Polytechnic InstituteInternational School of Beauty IncInternational Technological UniversityITT Technical Institute-ConcordITT Technical Institute-CoronaITT Technical Institute-Culver CityITT Technical Institute-LathropITT Technical Institute-OaklandITT Technical Institute-OxnardITT Technical Institute-Rancho CordovaITT Technical Institute-San DimasITT Technical Institute-SylmarITT Technical Institute-TorranceJohn Wesley International Barber and Beauty CollegeKaplan College-BakersfieldKaplan College-ModestoKaplan College-North HollywoodKaplan College-Palm SpringsKaplan College-RiversideKaplan College-SacramentoKaplan College-VistaLaguna College of Art and DesignLawrence & Company College of CosmetologyLe Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-PasadenaLeMelange Academy of HairLife Chiropractic College WestLife Pacific CollegeLos Angeles CenterLos Angeles College of MusicLos Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied HealthLos Angeles ORT College-Los Angeles CampusLos Angeles ORT College-Van Nuys CampusLu Ross AcademyLyles Bakersfield College of BeautyLyles Fresno College of BeautyMadera Beauty CollegeMake-up DesignoryManchester Beauty CollegeMarinello School of Beauty-BakersfieldMarinello School of Beauty-Castro ValleyMarinello School of Beauty-ChicoMarinello School of Beauty-FresnoMarinello School of Beauty-HaywardMarinello School of Beauty-MurrietaMarinello School of Beauty-NapaMarinello School of Beauty-PalmdaleMarinello School of Beauty-ReddingMarinello School of Beauty-ResedaMarinello School of Beauty-San BernardinoMarinello School of Beauty-San MateoMarinello School of Beauty-San RafaelMarinello School of Beauty-StocktonMarinello School of Beauty-WhittierMarinello Schools of Beauty-BellMarinello Schools of Beauty-City of IndustryMarinello Schools of Beauty-HemetMarinello Schools of Beauty-Huntington BeachMarinello Schools of Beauty-Lake ForestMarinello Schools of Beauty-LomitaMarinello Schools of Beauty-Los AngelesMarinello Schools of Beauty-Moreno ValleyMarinello Schools of Beauty-ParamountMarinello Schools of Beauty-Santa ClaraMarinello Schools of Beauty-Simi ValleyMarinello Schools of Beauty-VictorvilleMarinello Schools of Beauty-VisaliaMarshall B Ketchum UniversityMarymount California UniversityMarymount University - Waterfront CampusMayfield CollegeMediaTech Institute-OceansideMedical Allied Career CenterMendocino CollegeMerritt CollegeMiami Ad School-San FranciscoMilan Institute of Cosmetology-FairfieldMilan Institute of Cosmetology-VisaliaMilan Institute-MercedMilan Institute-Palm DesertMission CollegeModern Technology SchoolMoler Barber CollegeMonterey Institute of International StudiesMonterey Peninsula College
- By State
- By City