In honour of #envelopegate, the 15 biggest Oscar shockers
La La Land mistakenly announced as Best Picture!
It was really Moonlight!
They got the wrong envelope!
THE SKY IS FALLING!!!
But not really. The ‘wrong envelope’ caper from Sunday’s Oscar broadcast (a.k.a. #envelopegate) isn’t even a first — that happened back in 1964 when Sammy Davis Jr. was handed the wrong envelope for Best Score (Adapted).
Not nearly as big a prize as Best Picture, no, but still proof that there’s nothing new under the sun.
Oscars 2017 was a dull affair — until that debacle at the very last moment — but it wasn’t lacking in shocking moments.
The In Memoriam section, for example, used a photo of very much alive Australian producer Jan Chapman to honour late costume designer Janet Patterson, who died last October. Yikes.
So Oscar is not a shock-free zone. Indeed not — it was global news when a naked man ran behind host David Niven at the Oscars in 1974 at the height of the streaking craze.
Over the years, Oscar shockers have come in all shapes and sizes.
Stupidity. Cupidity. Vapidity. Take your pick.
Here are 15 of the most memorable:
1. That the ‘OscarsSoWhite’ protest happened just last year, in 2016.
That Hollywood maintains its racist, sexist, ageist stance is shocking.
That Viola Davis is the first and only black actress to win an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy is shocking.
2. Quentin Tarantino spitting on a reporter on the red carpet in 1997.
3. a) Adrien Brody planting a wildly over-enthusiastic deep kiss on Halle Berry after his Best Actor win (The Pianist) in 2003.
3. b) That incest-y smooch between Angelina Jolie and her brother, James Haven, at the 2000 Oscars where she won for Best Supporting Actress (Girl, Interrupted).
3. c) John Travolta smooching on Scarlett Johansson like a vampire at the 2015 Oscars.
3. d) As above: Gary Busey on Jennifer Garner, 2008.
4. Neil Patrick Harris in his undies on stage in 2015, spoofing Birdman. What’s shocking is people speculating afterward as to whether or not his tighty whities were padded for effect. Criminy.
5. James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting in 2011. We could be here all day listing the low points, but Franco in drag is right up there.
6. Marlon Brando snubbing the 1973 Oscars, sending Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to reject his Best Actor Oscar (The Godfather) and read his letter of protest over the way Native Americans were represented in film.
7. Some people were stunned when Crash beat Brokeback Mountain for Best Picture in 2006, but come on — a love story about two men was never going to fly in Middle America.
8. Roberto Benigni climbing over chairs, and stepping on quite a few people, to get his prize in 1999 (Life Is Beautiful).
9. At the 2000 Oscars, South Park kids Matt Stone and Trey Parker came in drag, and in copies of ‘big deal’ gowns worn previously by Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow.
10. Robert Downey Jr. gave an award for Visual Effects in 2007 and said, “They enable us to see aliens, experience other universes, move in slow motion or watch spiders climbing high above the city landscape. For me, just a typical weeknight in the mid '90s." Scripted or spontaneous, it’s shocking anything this funny got past the broadcast police.
11. Marisa Tomei’s win for Best Supporting Actress in 1993 (My Cousin Vinny) created a tidal wave of speculation. Did she really win over such actresses as Vanessa Redgrave and Miranda Richardson? Was it a teleprompter error? A reading mistake?
No, Tomei won fair and square, meanies.
12. So-called Christians stood outside the Kodak Theatre in 2009 with signs protesting gay marriage and suggesting that Heath Ledger would burn in hell because of Brokeback Mountain. That year, Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor (The Dark Knight).
13. Bjork turns up in a dress made out of a swan, or some damn weirdness in 2001.
14. John Travolta introduces Broadway star Idina Menzel as Adele Dazeem in 2014; fails to say anything useful afterward about dyslexia.
15. James Cameron won a pile of awards for Titanic in 1998, which kind of sucked, then quoted his own movie to announce he was, “King of the World.” Wanker.