Opinion: We gotta talk about the Oscars ending

Matt Poe

I can’t believe it.

I can’t believe those smug you-know-what’s over at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences coaxed this easily impressionable columnist into writing about that befuddling ending to the Oscars.

Nevertheless, they did and I’m taking the bait without regret — well, a few. But they don’t apply to this scenario.

First, some background context.

This past Sunday’s Oscars ceremony ended in one of the most bizarre fashions to any live program most of us have ever witnessed. Longtime director Warren Beatty and actress Faye Dunaway both took the stage to announce the coveted final award for Best Picture.

Beatty opened the envelope and, upon doing so, went silent. To most viewers, myself included, I thought the old man was doing it to build suspense or to just prolong the inevitable. Naturally so, I cursed him and told him to get on with it.

Beatty then let Dunaway read the name on the card, where she announced “La La Land” had won Best Picture, wrapping up a pretty dull awards show in terms of suspense.

All seemed academic: The producers got up and began to accept the award when a murmur appeared to rift through those on stage. Host Jimmy Kimmel eventually came out and said “Moonlight” had actually won the Best Picture award and that a mistake was made, in the most dunce-like fashion.

My initial reaction was presumably similar to the other millions of people watching: What? Huh? Wait? Que?

It was only then that Twitter and the rest of social media began to launch its massive investigation into what happened, spawning the most notorious investigation since the Warren Commission.

What do we know?

Emma Stone claims the card with her name on it bearing her Best Actress win never left her hand. Photos also indicate that the envelope Beatty was holding was etched with the words “Best Actress in a Leading Role” on the outside of it.

Naturally, they both agreed it was “La La Land” that had won because it bore Stone’s name on it.

As I found out, the academy keeps two copies of the envelopes in case something happens to them, which likely means some poor production assistant (who is now likely out of a job) handed Beatty the wrong envelope.

From there, the old man never had a chance.

But you know what? I’m not buying that. In fact, I think this whole thing goes to the top, maybe even to the presidency.

As a result, I’ve locked myself in my room and began posting newspaper clippings on the wall, trying to make sense of all this. The Poe Commission is now underway.

I haven’t left my room since this began — and I’ve grown hungry — so for God’s sake, someone send me a damn pizza.

In reality, I think this whole thing was a ratings grab from the Academy to get marble-brained nimrods like myself to talk about the Oscars. After all, Oscars ratings have been trending down by and large for the past decade or so.

They have also been losing the key 18 to 34 age demographic that all television producers salivate over like a lion over a dead antelope. Or myself over a meatball sub (both are equally frightening).

So, what better way to grab the aforementioned demographic and ensure they talk, text, tweet or share any news surrounding that bizarre ending? Why, they could do this very thing! It also sets up some talking points and drama for next year’s Oscars.

What proof do I have of this actually happening? None as of now, but give me some more time and a bottle of cough syrup, and I ensure you, I’ll have some soon, eventually.

I’m not buying this as some blunder by Greg the production assistant — this was calculated. You mean to tell me that Hollywood wouldn’t produce one of the most Hollywood-like endings to a show intended to celebrate Hollywood? You sit on a throne of lies! I just hope poor Beatty was in on it; he looked confused, as we all were.

Lastly, someone please come get me out of this room because I lost the key and the waste pile is beginning to accumulate at an unreal rate. Damn that sausage and gravy pizza.

 Matt Poe is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].