Oscars 2017: The Best Picture announcement goof-up is a gift for Donald Trump

Bikram Vohra

Feb,27 2017 14:13 16 IST

Murphy’s Law had an orgasm at the 89th Academy Awards — or the Oscars 2017 — ceremony as things went terribly wrong. What are the odds that they would get the envelope wrong for the top award of the night? Ten million to one. And then take so long to figure they had got it wrong. Like wait for the speeches from the La La Land ‘false’ winners and then wake up to the fact that it was the Moonlight crew that should be up there on stage.

Fred Berger, producer of "La La Land," foreground center, gives his acceptance speech as members of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Brian Cullinan, holding red envelope, and Martha L. Ruiz, in red dress, and a stage manager discuss the best picture announcement error among the cast at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The actual winner of best picture went to "Moonlight." (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Fred Berger, producer of "La La Land," foreground center, gives his acceptance speech as members of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Brian Cullinan, holding red envelope, and Martha L. Ruiz, in red dress, and a stage manager discuss the best picture announcement error among the cast at the Oscars on Sunday, 26 February 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The actual winner of best picture went to "Moonlight." AP Photo

Imagine having the Oscars being snatched back after Mum and Dad had been thanked.

Look, first, let’s get it straight — this was not Donald Trump getting even with Hollywood and Meryl Streep though somebody will come up with that scenario soon enough. Must have been a CIA plot, something Putin set up. A hacking of the Awards cards.

Oscars 2017 Best Picture goof-up: PricewaterhouseCoopers explains what went wrong

For those who saw the White House shaking, it was just the President of the United States rolling on the floor with mirth.

For Mr Trump this clumsiness could not have been more fun but that said, it was a frightful mess. Point is, the winners are not a raffle ticket that is pulled out at random. Enough human beings — including the chartered accountants and even the typist who types the envelope — know who has won. So do a sundry bunch of organisers who work the show. It is not such a big secret. What makes it even worse is that it wasn’t Warren Beatty’s fault — they gave him an envelope that said "Emma Stone, La La Land".

Since she did win the Best Actress award, how come there were two envelopes for the same award? Warren wasn’t quite sure so he passed it on to Faye Dunaway, hi co-host and she said La La Land because there was nothing to suggest it was Moonlight.

So the presenters were confused but not guilty.

The question that has to be answered is, how come there were two Best Actress envelopes? Don’t they check these facets a hundred times?

Steve Harvey got some flak for announcing the Miss Universe title wrong in 2015 and that error pales in comparison. This is the Oscars, the biggest entertainment spectacle on earth. You just cannot get the cherry on the top so wrong.

Will Hollywood now come together and close ranks or will there be an investigation into the snafu? What they will probably do is pretend it never happened and pat each other on the back for being gracious and oh-so-generous in their praise of one another’s talent and the glee club attitude will kick in and there will be all that froth of ‘aren’t we a wonderful family, we take egg on our faces in our stride'.”

Makes sense to downplay it because it is so embarrassing and makes the solemnity and sanctity of the Oscars a joke. Whatever you do next, Uncle Oscar wet his pants last night and he’ll never be the same again. Come next year, before every announcement the announcers will be advised to recheck the envelope.

As the world that watched and is now watching the clips tries to come to terms with this hugely absurd turn of events, the President of the United States is having a problem controlling his laughter. He’s the only guy who finds it endlessly funny.