Follywood: The Worst Award Show Mistakes Through the Ages

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Sam Dunham

BY SAM DUNHAM (’17)

After what might be the worst mistake in Academy Award history at the 89th Oscars, this Best Picture debacle has caused people to ask the million-dollar question: Is this the most embarrassing mistake in award show history?

For those who are unaware of this most recent fiasco, the presenters of the award for Best Picture at the Oscars, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, were evidently given the wrong envelope to announce. The envelope contained the name of an actress (Emma Stone) from the movie “La La Land”, which prompted the two legendary actors to crown the Damien Chazelle musical as the winner. Sadly, after nearly two whole minutes of celebration and speeches, it was announced that “Moonlight” was the actual winner, making the ending of this years Academy Awards one of the most awkward and uncomfortable ever.

Award shows through the years have certainly not been lacking in hilarious errors. Just this year in the Golden Globes, TWO different speakers, combined the movies “Fences” and “Hidden Figures” and said ‘Hidden Fences,’ an embarrassing move that not even Michael Keaton could get away with. Coincidentally, both movies were set around African Americans during the Civil Rights era and dealt with issues of race and segregation. Yep, nice going, Batman.

Another recent hilarious slip-up was in 2014, when John Travolta took it into his hands to make himself look like an idiot. He was responsible for introducing “Frozen” star Idina Menzel who would be singing the hit song “Let it Go.” However, for some unknown reason he chose to call her “Adele Dazeem,” a name not even close to the pronunciation of her actual name. This mysterious name Adele Dazeem was not even the name of another performer or celebrity there. It’s only been a few years since then, but Travolta has already been the victim of merciless teasing.

These televised blunders are not only recent occurrences either. One of the first recorded errors was at the 1933 Academy Awards. Actor Will Rogers was presenting the award for Best Director and named the winner as simply “Frank,” apparently forgetting that there was more than one Frank up for the best director that year. Director Frank Capra excitedly leaped on staged, thinking he won. Sadly, Frank Lloyd was the one who won the award. Not even an Oscar selfie could have fixed the awkwardness ensuing that mistake.

However, the “crowning” achievement (pun very much intended) in award show fail history is Steve Harvey’s horrendous Miss Universe mistake. Harvey, the famous comedian and show-host, accidentally announced Miss Colombia as the winner instead of the actual winner, Miss Philippines. After several minutes of an emotional roller coaster worthy of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Steve publicly admitted his mistake and apologized profusely to both contestants.

Does Harvey’s Miss Universe mistake rival that of the “Moonlight” disaster at this year’s Oscars? The debate of what is truly the worst televised mistake may go on for years to come, but one things for sure: As long as there is TV, there will always be people who make fools of themselves on it.