In a world riven by tragedy – war, death, natural disasters – a snafu during the Oscar telecast this week amounts to small peanuts. But, nonetheless, they are peanuts.
The broadcast is typically viewed by a billion people worldwide and Oscar recipients can always be guaranteed that the lead sentence in their obituary will mention the award. So when a major slip up occurs it is a noteworthy event.
As everyone by now knows, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were handed the wrong envelope for the best picture award: consequently the “La La Land” company assumed the stage, only to be turned away when it was announced that there had been an error — “Moonlight” actually won the Oscar.
To date, only confusing explanations have been offered. Warren Beatty has now asked the Academy to provide a cogent explanation, which is what should happen. Bad news only gets worse when it is covered up.
PwC, the firm responsible for counting the votes, has fallen on its sword, but in an unconvincing manner. Rumor has it that the PwC employee was on social media (something he was strictly forbidden to do) just prior to handing Beatty the envelope. But this begs the question of why the employee would be in possession of a previously used winner’s envelope. It is also rumored that Beatty has kept both envelopes and will return them to the Academy once confusion has cleared.
Also, the entire PwC procedure, as it has been explained, seems both anachronistic and designed to fail. Apparently, there are two PwC employees with briefcases which contain the winner’s envelopes. They arrive at the theater separately (almost clandestinely) and stand on opposite sides of the stage. Why all the subterfuge? These are academy award winners, not state secrets.
It is time for the Academy to put an end to the envelopegate.