The Oscars Fiasco - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Oscars Fiasco

Monday morning

It’s almost noon and I’m still laughing. If Saturday Night Live had skits this funny its viewership ratings wouldn’t be so low. It was Bonnie and Clyde redux, this time as comedy.

Of course readers know the reason for my Monday morning mirth. It’s the La La/Moonlight screw-up and masa-cree at Sunday night’s Academy Awards group-hug and narcissism marathon. This annual tribute to self-indulgence and crackpot politics was supposed to be boring. And the first eight hours of it certainly were. (Who really cares who the best third assistant grip on a foreign short subject is?) But then the ending was really boffo, eh? For a bit there the show had all the dignity and clarity of Hee-Haw outtakes.

Chaos reigned after the flick the academy did not pick for best picture was temporarily lifted up when the envelope declaring Emma Stone in La La Land best actress was recycled at the moment best picture was supposed to be announced. (Hey, everyone in Hollywood is four-square for recycling, right?) Insert any joke you care to here about two-car funerals.

The “La La” worthies were well into their acceptance gushes. (“I just want to thank God and this great country we live in for…” Oops. Never mind. That was from the country music awards.) Then the mistake was discovered, leading to my favorite part of the fiasco, where La La producer Jordan Horowitz, standing next to a dazed Warren Beatty (Warren always looks like he’s taking a standing eight-count), was trying to get the attention of attendees and TV viewers with, “This is not a joke, this is not a joke — I’m afraid they read the wrong thing.” (Leading at least one man in attendance to say to his wife, “Good grief, Martha. I put a tux on for this?”)

Wrong, Jordan. It was a joke, and a funnier one than any Jimmy Kimmel had attempted earlier. But Jordan was right that a less than alert Faye Dunaway had read the wrong thing. She declared La La best picture from a card that read “Emma Stone for La La Land.” (Stuff like this helps make it clear why Hollywood is called La La Land.)

The card of course was from Stone’s earlier best actress award, and how it fetched up when best picture was to be announced is not clear. Perhaps Chuck Schumer will demand a special prosecutor and we’ll eventually find out. In the meantime, that’s E-Dunaway if you’re keeping score. (And how gentlemanly of Clyde to pass the obviously erroneous card on to Bonnie to allow her to step in her mess kit.)

To give credit to Horowitz, he was gracious in defeat. He handed the Oscar that we know he wanted very much and thought was his over to Moonlight director Barry Jenkins with what appeared to be a genuine smile on his face. (Perhaps an enterprising reporter, if we could find one, could ask Hillary Clinton, if we could find her, what Horowitz must have been feeling at the time.)

Considering the continuing political tantrums out of Hollywood specifically, and from Democrats generally, perhaps Horowitz could teach them all how to accept defeat and behave honorably under the most trying circumstances.

Jordan, you’re a true gent. The merits of the two movies aside (I didn’t see either), you deserve some kind of award, even if not the one you very much wanted.

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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