Will last year’s Best Picture snafu drive up viewership for 2018 Oscars?

With all due respect to the winners and nominees, 2017’s Oscar telecast will be best remembered for the mind-boggling series of mistakes that led up to the wrong picture being announced as the winner. What made the moment even more shocking was that it followed closely after the 2015 “Miss Universe” contest where a wrong winner was also announced. These live telecasts had gone off pretty smoothly since their inception decades ago when they started airing on TV. That made it even more shocking to see two winners being announced, receiving their awards, basking in their moment of glory and then having them ripped from their hands seconds later all the more astonishing. It makes you wonder how many viewers will tune in to the telecast this year just to see if everything goes well. Don’t forget, last year’s telecast was the least-watched Oscars since 2008.

As for Miss Universe the mistake has been largely blamed on host Steve Harvey just getting confused as to what he was supposed to read and when and accidentally announcing the first runner up (Miss Colombia) instead of the real winner (Miss Phillipines.) Things have turned out well though for Ariadna Gutierrez the dethroned Miss Colombia since the notary she received during her brief reign got her a place on the currently airing “Celebrity Big Brother.”

The Oscar mix-up was more complicated and was really the perfect storm of blunders all happening in the same few minutes. Blame ultimately fell on the accountant who was too busy tweeting photos of Emma Stone to notice that he had handed Warren Beatty the wrong envelope. Beatty then stammered a bit which people (including co-presenter Faye Dunaway) thought was an attempt to add suspense to the moment. He has later explained that he was operating under the old rules of the show must go on and trying to stall a bit while he figured out what to do. He didn’t want to just blurt out “We have the wrong envelope,” so he showed the card to Dunaway who thought he wanted her to read the winner. She then exclaimed “La La Land” without noticing that the card read in full “Emma Stone, ‘La La Land.’” Immediately after Dunaway spoke you can hear on the tape Beatty says, “It says Emma Stone, ‘La La Land'” to which Dunaway responds “What?”

SEE 2018 Oscar nominations: Full list of Academy Awards nominees in all 24 categories

Things got even more messed in the delay it took the accountants to notify telecast officials of the mistake. We’d always been told the accountants have a hotline to the director and in case of a mistake they will immediately notify the director who will cut to a commercial. One wonders if anything would have ever been revealed had “La La Land” actually won Best Picture as it was predicted to do and had “Moonlight” not pulled a surprise upset.

So stay tuned to this years’ Oscar telecast to see if things go smoothly. Some at Gold Derby have expressed a hope that Beatty and Dunaway will be invited back to present (after all Steve Harvey still hosts Miss Universe). One thing that is for sure is the twittering accountants who let the mistake happen will be watching from home. Price Waterhouse Coopers has already announced both of them will be reassigned to new positions in the company which one assumes don’t involve a live telecast to the entire planet.

PREDICT the Oscar winners now; change them until March 4

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