Oscars 2017 Best Picture goof-up: Things to do when you 'win' an Academy Award
There was a time when if, you had been named the winner in any category at the Oscars, all you had to do was worry about delivering a kickass acceptance speech, well within the allotted time.
From time to time, some winners may have suffered mishaps like losing a shoe, or tripping on the stairs while climbing onto the stage to collect your statuette, or even missing your presentation on stage because you were in the bathroom when your name was called (and then when you did make it to the stage, found you'd trailed tissue paper along with your stilettos). Yes, all these scenarios have actually happened down the years at Hollywood awards nights.
But the 89th Academy Awards — the Oscars 2017 — gave future winners a whole new concern to worry about, thanks to its epic Best Picture goof-up. La La Land was mistakenly announced as the Best Picture Winner, and just when the cast and crew had come on stage and begun their speeches — gasp! they realised it was a huge mistake, and they hadn't won after all. It was Moonlight which had won the golden statuette in the night's biggest category.
So, here's a quick check list for all future Academy Award-ees, based on the lessons of Oscars 2017, on 'what to do when you win Best Picture' (or Best anything, really):
1. Don’t rush to the stage and launch into your thank you speech
We know it’s a big deal and you rehearsed the speech a million times. Hold your horses. Walk slowly to the stage and take a few deep breaths before you start. This will also give the presenters and PricewaterhouseCoopers enough time to figure out if a mistake has been made, and give you the cover to slip unobtrusively back in your seat.
2. Request the presenter to re-check
Next time there’s a long pause before the winner is announced, don’t think it’s for effect or because someone needs new glasses. There could be a genuine problem. If the presenter is known to you, request them to re-check. However, if possible, read the card yourself. (We know you weren't at fault Warren Beatty!)
3. Know where Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullian are
Martha Ruiz of PricewaterhouseCoopers and her partner Brian Cullian, are the only two people who usually know about the winners before they are announced. Keep a tab on them and don’t accept the award till they’ve given you an affirmative nod. Once they do, though, feel free to rejoice and launch into that super speech you practised before the mirror a million times (you know, just in case).
4. Meditate during the awards
Because everything is temporary. As one Japanese Buddhist priest said, “Suffer what is there to suffer, enjoy what is there to enjoy.” You never know when your glory will vanish, sometimes it may happen seconds after you get your award — as it did with the La La Land team. The only way to keep calm, is to be aware of your breath. Eventually, you’ll run out of that too. But in most cases, the breath will stay with you longer than money and fame. It’s the only way to keep calm in a situation like this.
5. Blame Trump
Tweet him, ask him what he’s up to and if he doesn’t respond, blame him anyway.