In the most recent episode of The Business, Matt Belloni of the Hollywood Reporter and Kim Masters dissected the Oscars debacle that occurred just less than two weeks ago. As most everyone knows at this point, the wrong name was called for best picture. La La Land was announced as best picture, and after a couple of minutes of acceptance from the La La Land team, it was revealed that it was a mistake, and the actual winner for best picture was Moonlight. The specific details for this massive faux pas can be found in numerous news sources. Masters and Belloni discuss through impassioned tones how the Academy can put this embarrassing moment behind them.
Personally, I think analyzing this mistake with such intensity is a bit overdramatic. It was an embarrassing blunder, and the La La Land team should not have been humiliated like they were. However, this scandal has been blown out of proportion. At the end of the day, someone read the wrong card at an awards ceremony. Military secrets have not been divulged, and no one died, but people escalate this issue to the level of horror. Much of this overreaction stems from the value placed around the Oscars. The Oscars are an entertaining evening where people can see some of the critically acclaimed films over the past year, yet somehow, people glorify the ceremony as the alpha and omega for film viewing. Film society has placed too much weight on this traditional evening of “bests.” While the Oscars are entertaining, and I do believe they should stick around, I think society needs to deflate their importance. This blunder was embarrassing, but the overt examination from others is even more humiliating.