Was the Oscars mix-up staged by the Academy?

In light of #OscarsSoWhite, the Academy literally pried the Oscar away from the primarily white cast to award diversity

In Steve Harvey-like fashion, the Academy was the most recent victim of a classic “we announced the wrong winner” mix-up…or were they?

Let’s take a step back. In 2015, #OscarsSoWhite trended. In 2016, #OscarsStillSoWhite trended. Currently, in 2017, after presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the winner for Best Picture, when Moonlight had in fact won, #BestPicture is trending.

Critics are claiming that the mix-up was horrible for the Academy, but terrific for TV ratings. I disagree. The mix-up was terrific for both the Academy and for TV ratings. Since 2015, all eyes were looking down on the Academy, analyzing every nominee and condemning the Oscars for a severe lack of diversity – appropriately so. But as of tonight, all eyes went buggy, gawking over the shock of the unfathomable misstep. The mix-up stole the show and distracted from any lack of diversity, changing the conversation around the Oscars.

This was their plan; a conspiracy, maybe. Let’s analyze:

Beatty and Dunaway said their confusion surfaced after the card they were handed said, “Emma Stone, La La Land.” After the misstep, it was clear that this was the card for Best Actress – but, Best Actress had already been awarded to Stone.

In a press conference after the mix-up, Stone said she had the card stating her name the whole time after she received her award for Best Actress.

Emma Stone during the backstage interview #Oscars #Oscars2017 #AcademyAwards #AcademyAwards2017 #JimmyKimmel #movies #movie #comics #emmastone #love

A post shared by The Constant Movie News ™️ ? (@constantmovienews1) on

Thus, the Academy printed two of the same card stating Stone’s name. When the copy of the card was distributed on stage, it incorrectly awarded a primarily white cast for Best Picture. After the mistake was caught, the Academy stripped the white cast of the Oscar and awarded it to the primarily black cast of Moonlight.

In light of #OscarsSoWhite, the Academy literally pried the Oscar away from the primarily white cast to award diversity, silencing the trending conversation that haunted them for three seasons. And that “misstep” was their goal all along – to show, on stage in front of millions, how the Academy is finally starting to recognize artists of all backgrounds. They broadcasted it live, made it viral on social media, and will be a topic of conversation for years to come. Well played.

And in terms of gaining TV ratings, the Academy learned from the best: Miss Universe.

 

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