#Envelopegate – What Really Went Down With The Oscars Best Picture Mix Up

Photo: The Academy Instagram
27 Feb2017
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Now that the dust has settled, well not really. Last night’s Oscars mix up for Best Picture will still be one of the most talked about moments of the show’s history and will be a pop culture reference for all eternity.

If you missed it, “La La Land” was announced as Best Picture during the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, but it was a Steve Harvey moment and “Moonlight” actually won. The whole situation is just a mess for those who announced the mix up (Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway), the person who handed the presenters the envelope, hence #Envelopegate, the cast of “La La Land” who were happily on stage accepting the honor, trophies in hand, then had to be exited off the stage, and of course for the “Moonlight” cast who had their winning moment overshadowed by a controversy. But what the hell happened? How could this have happened?

I’ve done my research on investigating this matter. First, during the show Warren Beatty said he was given the wrong envelope. He had the Best Actress in A  Leading Role card which had “Emma Stone La La Land” on it. Problem with this, Stone went into a press conference (2:12 mark in video) saying she had her winning card in hand on stage upon going up with the cast to accept Best Picture. I thought they gave the winners their card anyway, soooo.

Second, it was later being reported that the Academy apparently has two winning envelopes waiting on either side of the stage for each category. In an article from a 2016 story by Valli Herman in the Los Angeles Times it explained, “In an undisclosed location, the partners tabulate votes and stuff two sets of winning envelopes, partly as another security measure and also to aid the show’s flow. Stationed with their signature briefcases on opposite sides of the stage, either [PricewaterhouseCoopers partners, Brian] Cullinan or [Martha] Ruiz can dispense envelopes to presenters. At the end of the evening, each accountant will have given out about half of the envelopes.”

“And the third set? ‘There is no third “set” sitting somewhere that has the winning cards in the winning envelopes,’ Cullinan said. However, the remaining, unstuffed envelopes and nominee cards are shipped to a second secret location, just in case some disaster prevents access to the completed sets. After the ceremony, unused cards and envelopes are destroyed by an industrial document-destruction company.”

Problem, I call BS. I get security measures or whatever, but how could a Leading Actress envelope be mistaken for a Best Picture, the words aren’t even similar to look at and get mixed up, soooo.

To be honest I really have no clue how this happened and I’m not sure any malicious intent was behind the mix up because who would that benefit? The “La La Land” cast was embarrassed and the “Moonlight” cast, obviously happy, probably felt bad in the situation cheering in someone else’s disappointment. If Beatty and Dunaway noticed the card was jank, say something. It’s live TV, things happen. I don’t want to put fault completely on them, but I think if I was in the position knowing who Emma Stone was and knowing the role she played in “La La Land” I would have the sense to not call that movie as Best Picture after just seeing her name on the winning card. This all makes my head hurt.

What’s your opinion on #Envelopegate? How do you think the mix up happened and do you think it was intentional? Share all you delightful comments and theories with me below.

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Photo: The Academy Instagram

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