One week out from the Oscars, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences made arguably its biggest PR blunder since talk of the ‘Popular Film Category’ inclusion popped up in 2018.
Yesterday, the Academy launched a new feature called ‘The Oscars Prediction Experience’ – an app that is meant to let fans make their own predictions for the winners of this Sunday’s Oscars and post their predictions in all 24 categories into a single Canva-style graphic to share on social media.
The problem was that in order to advertise it, the Academy tweeted out one of those result graphics through their official Twitter handle, did so under the heading “My Oscar Predictions”, and included no caption with the tweet.
In essence, it appeared the Academy itself had not only decided on who the winners were but had accidentally tweeted out the results which included such picks as “Parasite” for Best Picture and Sam Mendes for Best Director.
Of course, it’s not possible as voting was still going on through Tuesday afternoon and the tallied votes have not been counted yet. But in the wake of ‘Envelopegate’ three years ago, the blunder led to a surge of conspiracy theories along with more understandable dismay that the Academy appeared to be endorsing winners when impartiality is essential to its reputation.
The Academy later posted a tweet response saying: “We invited fans on Twitter to make and share your #Oscars predictions. A ton of you already have (happy face emoji). A brief issue on Twitter made some of yours look like they came from our account. (not so happy face emoji). They didn’t. This error is now resolved. And we’ll reveal our picks on Sunday.”
Source: The Los Angeles Times