But the “first” that everyone will be talking about for the next few weeks at least, has to be the monumental gaffe that was the announcement of the wrong Best Picture winner.
Veteran actors Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty came up on stage to announce the big win, and after a suspiciously long deliberation, named La La Land for its sixth Oscar win. It was only after the cast and crew had gone up on stage and were halfway through their acceptance speeches that, in a scene out of Steve Harvey’s worst nightmare, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz announced that the actual winner was the fan favourite Moonlight.
Amidst the disbelief and chaos that ensued, the La La Land crew handed the statuettes to the real winners, and a thoroughly embarrassed Warren Beatty took to the stage to try and explain that he had actually been handed the Best Actress card (Emma Stone had earlier bagged the Best Actress award for La La Land), although in a later report Stone claims to have been holding the card for Best Actress the whole time.
While we wait for the dust to settle, we’re left with many questions. How could such an epic fail happen? Was it really a blunder, or some elaborate prank to generate more “fake news” (several news portals had been generating live updates and were quick to report the supposed La La Land win before the new development came to light)? Was it a subtle nod to disaster films like Deepwater Horizon and Sully, which, despite the buzz around them, failed to make the cut for Best Picture nominations? Time will tell.