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The 2017 Academy Awards ended with a shocking blunder.

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Horowitz reveals true winner to crowd.

Horowitz reveals true winner to crowd.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Horowitz reveals true winner to crowd.

Joe Meyerson, Staff Writer

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The theater erupted in cheers. Producer Marc Platt gave an emotional speech that tugged at the heartstrings of all in attendance. Joy was in the air at the 89th Academy Awards, as “La La Land” took home the well-deserved title of Best Picture.

Until it didn’t.

Shocked gasps and murmurs are not usually associated with award shows such as the Oscars. However, as producers rushed the stage and rapidly grabbed away the recently awarded trophies, something immediately seemed to be amiss. The expressions of the crew of “La La Land” suddenly turned from jubilant to worrisome. Hushed whispers started to disseminate through the crowd. As co-producer Fred Berger ended his short speech with “by the way, we lost”, what would seem like a joke in most acceptance speeches turned into a shocking reality.

Bravely and with grace, fellow producer Jordan Horowitz grabbed the microphone and informed the crowd of the reality of the situation. “Moonlight,” not “La La Land,” had won Best Picture. This announcement led to the now-infamous image of Horowitz holding up the winning “Moonlight” card, confirmation to millions of viewers that they were witnessing Oscar history.

While a mistake of this sort is not unprecedented (looking at you, Steve Harvey), the events of Feb. 26 were certainly unexpected, to say the least. In the age of instant sharing that the internet and social media provides, we as a society have pretty much seen it all. However, that did not stop the Twitter-verse from exploding with reactions regarding the mishap.

Politics were an overarching theme of the ensuing online barrage. Social media users were clicking send on “alternative facts” and “fake news” jokes at a maniacal rate. Even President Trump got in on the fun, adding that maybe the blunder wouldn’t have occurred had the show not been “focused so hard on politics.”

Photoshopped images of the winning card also had their moment in the sun. Editing wizards had their way with the now-iconic image, using everything from sports references to pop culture jokes to poke fun at the monumental error.

However, as the commotion winded down, the feeling in the air turned from shocking to bittersweet. The cast and crew of “La La Land” felt the joy of seeing their hard work come to fruition, the thrill of reaching the pinnacle of the movie industry, but only for a few fleeting seconds. While “Moonlight” was obviously thrilled to win, this wasn’t how they wanted it to happen. Regardless of the brilliance of their film, their victory will always come with an asterisk. The 2017 Oscars will always be “that” year.

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