Oscar. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear that word? You most likely associate it with another word – award. And you’re not alone. Most people who watch movies and follow the film industry can relate with you. Symbolizing the highest honor for any exceptionally done work worthy of recognition in acting and filming, the iconic Oscar trophy is given annually at the Academy Awards (a.k.a. the Oscars) to individuals or groups voted the best in their respective categories.
It is little wonder then that you may hear people rhetorically ask, “Who directed this film?”, “Who is that person – are they for real or just acting?” and then conclude “They deserve an Oscar!”
Every February, people in and outside the US film industry watch the Academy Awards show to know which of the nominees gets to take home the golden statuette. Winning an Oscar is considered to be a validation of an individual’s creative excellence in the motion pictures industry. It not only brings recognition but also prestige, more work and – in many cases – higher paychecks. It’s, therefore, no surprise that actors, actresses, directors, and other film creatives covet the award.
Organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the event was first held in 1929. It is now a social gathering marked by glamour and glitz: stars dressed in luxurious and mostly custom-designed outfits strutting the red carpets, paparazzi camera flashlights flashing endlessly, fans screaming and trying to get autographs of their favorite celebrities. There is also the actual award ceremony, after-parties, the mingling and rubbing of minds with the crème de la crème of the global film industry.
But that’s not all there is to the Oscars. There are also the not so glamorous moments – the inadvertent mix-ups (mistakes), wardrobe malfunctions, and missteps. Some of such moments may seem funny and laughable, but to those who were directly affected by it – not so much if at all. Perhaps you’re curious to know how many of them have occurred because you’re a student who has just written an essay on the issue and is still pondering, ”How can I fix my paper with more accurate information sources?” It ’s really hard to keep count of them all. But what we’ve done here is take a look at some of the more memorable oopsy episodes.
Now, let’s check out our list of top 5 funny accidents that have happened at the Oscars over the years.
1. And The Best Picture Award Goes to.. La La Land…Wrong! (2017)
While announcing the winner of the Best Picture award, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were doing their best to build suspense. Faye opened the envelope, pulled out the winners card and read out, ‘La La Land!’
But wait a minute – was it really the winner? As one of La La Land’s producers Marc Platt gave his acceptance speech following his fellow producer Jordan Horowitz, people saw a person rush across the stage behind him. They were approached by the man donning a headset and holding a white card in his hand. For many in the audience, something had clearly gone wrong.
While a third producer Fred Berger was on the mic, Beatty who apparently had been informed of the mix-up started approaching Fred, but it was Fred who broke the news to the audience.
Horowitz also admitted to having made the mistake by announcing, “Moonlight, you guys won the best picture”. Moments later he raised the correct card to the cameras.
Understandably, the cast of Moonlight led by their producer were thrilled to know that. It was a consolation, to say the least, for what was probably the worst blunder yet in Oscar history. Even the director of Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, admitted that he was “speechless” after his movie was later announced as the winner.
What went wrong? Apparently, there was a mix-up as the presenters were given the wrong winners card. Warren Beatty clarified to the audience that when he opened the red envelope he saw “Emma Stone. La La Land”.
It must have been hard for the La La Land group to accept that error in the most coveted award category. But don’t feel bad for them. That Sunday night the movie won six awards out of its record-tying 14 Oscar nominations for a single film. Besides the Oscar trophies, the movies has won…wait for it…106 awards!
2. Rami Malek Tips Over and Falls Off Stage (2019)
Born in Los Angeles, California, to Egyptian parents, Rami Malek won the Best Actor award for his brilliant performance in the 2018 movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. The film is a biography of the Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of a British rock band the Queen.
Things literally went south moments after the 37-year-old actor was done with his speech. As he left the stage, he stumbled and fell. People around him quickly came to his rescue lifting him up. Luckily his trophy was intact. The paramedics arrived shortly after to attend to him and he was in the clear without sustaining any serious injuries. He didn’t let that fall ruin his evening as he carried on celebrating his win by partying all night long.
Sometimes, we let our excitement get the better of us. That is what happened to Rami Malek, who had received his first Oscar nomination and won it on the first attempt. That accomplishment can send any actor over the moon. So you really can’t blame him for the fall. Inadvertently, that embarrassing episode earned him a memorable place in Oscar history.
3. Jennifer Lawrence Falls As Goes to the Stage To Receive Her Oscar (2013)
Fondly called J-Law by her fans and industry colleagues, Jennifer Lawrence won the Best Actress award in 2013 for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook. It was her second Academy award nomination at the time and her first Oscar win. Clearly, she had every reason to be excited when she heard her name announced by Jean Dujardin.
But it was after she hugged a few other attendees seated next to her including Bradley Cooper that she had her brief but embarrassing accident. As she climbed the stairs leading up to the stage, she tripped over and fell. Luckily, she was able to support herself with her arms. Unfortunately, as brief as the moment was, it was captured live in full view of the audience.
Being a funny person, she didn’t let that spoil her moment of glory – she joked at the applauding audience most of whom gave her a standing ovation. ‘You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell!’, she quipped.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio Drops His Oscar Breaking it Apart (2016)
For someone who has starred in some of the biggest and most critically acclaimed movies (e.g. Titanic released in 1997), it’s difficult to fathom why they’ve never won any individual Oscar awards for 22 years since their first nomination for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. But that all changed at the 88th Academy awards in 2016 where Leonardo DiCaprio won the best Best Actor award for his lead role in The Revenant.
But it wasn’t long before his statuette literally fell from his hand. The fall didn’t happen during the award ceremony but after the show. It was reported that Leonardo DiCaprio was leaving the Dolby Theater (venue of the event) when he decided to raise the trophy to a nearby cameraman. Unfortunately, his grip was not firm enough and the statuette fell on the concrete surface, breaking into three parts. Right after that happened, he was said to have fallen on his knees and begun to cry.
What a sad thing to happen! Just when it seemed like he finally broke his Oscar jinx, he broke his trophy. Oops!
5. Emma Stone Inadvertently Flashes her Underwear (2015)
Sometimes, our clothes get out of place, exposing our body in ways we would rather not in public. Those sort of moments are called wardrobe malfunctions. The lives of celebrities, who are frequently followed by the paparazzi, are filled with such episodes. Over the years, there have been many of them at the Oscars. But for Emma Stone, given the length of her well-covered yellow gown, a wardrobe malfunction was probably the last thing on her mind.
But it took only a few seconds for that to happen. While walking the red carpet at the 2013 Oscars, she tried to readjust the front of her gown and revealed more than she intended to. Her underwear was visible for a few seconds. Sadly, with the plethora of cameramen ceaselessly taking photos, one of those seconds was captured.