Inside the Press Room and #Oscargate

When LaLa Land had the Best Picture award snatched from them at the Oscars earlier this week, two things came to mind.  Steve Harvey and Marisa Tomei.  Am I the only one who remembers the drama and accusations that flew out when Marisa Tomei won the Oscar for My Cousin Vinny?

In a 1994 Entertainment Weekly article, they stated…“As the rumor goes…award presenter Jack Palance inadvertently read the name of the final nominee off the Teleprompter, instead of the name in the envelope.  Depending on who tells the tale, the winner was either Judy Davis for Husbands and Wives or Vanessa Redgrave for Howards End.”

That’s why Sunday’s madness offers a sweet measure of vindication for Tomei and Steve Harvey (with his Miss Universe mishap).   It demonstrated that, in the case of a miscalled name, show officials are ready and willing to rush out and correct it — no matter how much embarrassment or humiliation might ensue.

Those critics and conspiracy-mongers overlooked a few things about the winner in question. One, Tomei was hilarious in “My Cousin Vinny.”  She literally is the major reason the entire movie worthwhile, only second to her co-star Joe Pesci.  Secondly, I personally think it was just some old school being shadiness being thrown towards Tomei, who was a little known actress,  who beat out legends and no one saw it coming.

Needless to say in the press room, everyone was aghast, confused and mortified that such a mishap would be possible in this day and age.  I mean EVERYTHING is so technologically advanced.  Just goes to show that people are just as infallible.  The Academy  and PwC was so embarrassed that the two accountants responsible for the unfortunate incident were fired.

Other than #Oscargate, here are some other highlights of the evening from press room perspective…

*Host Jimmy Kimmel brought his signature “Mean Tweets” segment from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” with one directly for Donald Trump.  His dropping red vines and junior mints from the sky coupled with using little Sunny Pawar as Simba in The Lion King made for very entertaining, comical moments.
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*The women of Hidden Figures paid tribute to the film’s groundbreaking “computers that inspired the film by honoring the only survivor of the three NASA aerospace technologists – Katherine Johnson.
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*Justin Timberlake’s unforgettable opening number that had old and young alike dancing int the aisles of the Dolby Theatre.
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*Sylvain Bellemare took home the Sound Editing award for ARRIVAL. This was Bellemare’s first Oscar nomination,  first win and the only win of the night for the film.
*Viola Davis’s memorable speech
I think Viola Davis is easily one of the most loved actresses in Hollywood.  Why?  She’s kind, humble and puts her money where her mouth is.  With a brand new production deal via ABC, Davis is already placing several deals on the table for herself and other actors of color.  She is literally one word…RESPECTED – in her craft and as a human being.  Press members were thrilled when her name was announced as Best Supporting Actress for Fences.
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“The people who taught me how to fail, how to love, how to hold an award, how to lose, my parents. I’m so thankful that God chose you to bring me into this world. To my sisters, my sister Delores, who’s here who played Jaji and Jaja with me, we were rich white women in the tea party games. Thank you for the imagination and to my husband and my daughter, my heart, you and Genesis, you teach me every day how to live, how to love. I’m so glad you are the foundation of my life.”

After her speech, Davis celebrated by sharing an adorable picture of her family and kicking off her heels backstage, changing into a pair of red platform sneakers.

Backstage, she continued her inspired speech-making, reflecting on her past. “I grew up in poverty. I grew up in apartments that were condemned and rat-infested and I always sort of wanted to be somebody. I wanted to be good at something. This is sort of like the miracle of God. Of dreaming big. Just hoping it sticks and it lands and it did,” she said. “Who knew?”

*Memoriam to those that died- Sara Bareillis

This moment is always one of reflection, but one of controversy as time never allows all of those souls to be recognized in the tribute.  Those omitted were Doris Roberts, Garry Shandling, Dan Ireland and Robert Vaughn.

In Memoriam Oscar Tribute

With another year of Oscar nominees and winners in the history books, I can say that I called nearly  every single winner…literally only off by one or two, but hey, no one is perfect…lol!!!

Congrats to all the winners and nominees until next year…

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