Some people were absolutely horrified by last year’s Academy Awards kerfuffle, when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner for Best Picture.
Host Jimmy Kimmel is not among them, even though he thinks there should be severe penalties if there’s a repeat.
“If it happens again, literally everyone that works at ABC should be fired, right?” Kimmel joked. “Because it happens one time, that’s, I think, understandable. But if it happens a second time, no one is competent enough to be running a television show or network. So I don’t think it’s going to happen again.
“If it did, I would have to admit, it would tickle me deeply.”
C’mon, when the producer of “La La Land” had to stop mid-acceptance speech to announce that he hadn’t won — that the Oscar went to “Moonlight” — it was great TV. Sure, I felt sorry for all the “La La Land” folks who went from joy to puzzlement to disappointment, but that has to be one of the most memorable Oscar moments ever. It’s going to be remembered long after both films are largely forgotten.
(We’re already forgetting “La La Land,” aren’t we?)
If you were old enough to watch the Oscars in 1992, you probably remember Jack Palance doing one-armed pushups. You probably don’t remember the film for which he won the Best Supporting Actor award.
(“City Slickers,” by the way.)
Hey, the only memorable thing that’s ever happened at the Miss Universe pageant was when host Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner. That was just two years ago, and I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of you couldn’t name the winner, the runner-up or the countries they came from — but you know Harvey screwed up.
(Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez, was initially announced as the winner; Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, was the actual winner.)
Same thing with the 2017 Oscars. If Beatty hadn’t been handed the wrong envelope; if he had simply said, “I think something’s wrong”; if Dunaway had paid attention — we wouldn’t still be talking about it.
Personally, I think Beatty and Dunaway should be given a do-over at this year’s Oscars (Sunday, 6 p.m., ABC/Channel 4). And let’s make it like “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Put all the nominees up on the monitor. Let Beatty and Dunaway use the 50-50 to get rid of half of them. Let them phone a friend. Ask the audience.
C’mon, that would be fun!
And Kimmel — who turned out to be a great Oscars host in his first attempt a year ago — has the right attitude about all this.
“Ninety-nine percent of the show went pretty well,” he said. “So I don’t think of it as the Titanic-caliber disaster that most people do when they reflect on it.
“Ultimately, it’s just a bunch of celebrities handing each other trophies. Let’s be honest.”