Forget conspiracies, the Oscars made a mistake

Photo by Casey Gomez

The Oscars, a place where Hollywood Elite gather to chastise government, drink expensive liqueurs and mess up award designations.

In all the confusion and opulence of the show, somehow the cards were mixed up, causing Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty to falsely award the Oscar for “Moonlight,” to the “La La Land” and cast and crew. Let us dive into the details.

Once the chaos had died down, Warren Beatty was the one left holding the wrong card. This can lead us to believe that he possibly did not actually read the card he was handed to make sure it was the “Best Picture” card. If that is the case, then he is more than at fault for not double checking.

To add to the confusion, each year PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm, brings two full sets of the envelopes controlled by two of their accountants. This is to keep a backup and have an extra set of cards on both sides of the stage to cut down on cards transferring to too many hands. To debunk many conspiracy theories, neither PricewaterhouseCoopers nor anyone else intentionally planted the “La La Land” “Best Actress” envelope to sabotage “Moonlight’s” victory. They also would not have said “La La Land” regardless of what card they were given.

What made this mistake believable was that “La La Land” was also a front-runner for “Best Picture.” This was one of the reasons it took longer to realize the mistake. But that is just the surface of the fiasco!

After diving even deeper we find that Brian Cullinan, one of the accountants, moments before the slip, was documented juggling numerous envelopes in one hand while uploading a victory picture of Emma Stone to his personal Twitter feed in the other. Numerous sources have corroborated that around the time the mistake happening, the backstage area was hectic.

Warren Beatty was also said to have grabbed an envelope and rushed onstage quickly to not miss a cue. While this explanation is perfectly reasonable, others have cooked up more far-fetched ideas.

One of which says that the “mistake” was in some way a conspiracy to gain support and sympathy for “La La Land” not winning. While you can believe whatever story you want, I am saying these could have been some reasons there was a mistake. After all, with Warren Beatty’s hasty departure from backstage, and the PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant distracted by his Twitter, who knows what else could have gone wrong.

With all of that said, when it comes down to who is to blame and what conspiracy theories have merit, there is very little evidence. You can look at the facts all day long, but due to the hustle of such an event, one can expect a slip up. While this mistake did rob “Moonlight” of its big moment, it did not rob them of their rightfully earned Oscar.