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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Weekend
Oscars Producer breaks silence on backstage chaos: 'It was Like the Hindenburg'
    2017-March-3  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    MICHAEL DE LUCA was just popping the tab on his third Diet Coke of the evening backstage at the Dolby Theatre when the inconceivable happened: The wrong movie was named best picture at the Oscars.

    “I heard [fellow producer] Jennifer Todd next to me,” says De Luca, producer of the Oscar ceremony, in his first comments about the most infamous moment in Academy Awards history in a radio show Thursday. “It was like the Hindenburg report. I literally heard, ‘Oh my God! He got the wrong envelope!’ And then it was slow motion. You perceive things slowly as the adrenaline rises and the cortisol floods your system.”

    De Luca, 51, rushed to the hotline that linked producers and key staff. “We have a producers’ table backstage, and that’s where Jen and I were,” he continues. “It’s where we watched the whole show. My concern was getting [host] Jimmy [Kimmel] up there and saying, ‘Goodnight, everybody.’ But to Jimmy’s credit, he was already on the way. He was sitting with Matt Damon to do the scripted final bit — it was going to be a kicker with Matt — and he saw what was happening and jumped onstage.”

    In the subsequent chaos — the two minutes and 30 seconds from when presenter Faye Dunaway announced, “La La Land!,” to “La La” producer Jordan Horowitz stepping forward and revealing, “This is not a joke,” and that “Moonlight” was the winner — backstage players quickly understood what had gone wrong: An envelope containing Emma Stone’s name as best actress had been given to presenter Warren Beatty instead of the one with best picture.

    Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs — facing a second storm of criticism following the previous two years’ #OscarsSoWhite outcry — immediately came backstage with Academy CEO Dawn Hudson to gather a team to answer questions.

    “After it was over and everyone was crowding backstage, I ran into the theater to scoop up my wife and kids and brought them back to my production office,” says De Luca. “By the time I went back to the green room, Dawn was already in mid conversation with the players, just trying to figure out what happened. Everyone was a little shaken. Everybody looked white-faced and the blood was just drained from [them].”

    That blood-draining has cast a pall over the Oscars and especially over the reputation of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Academy’s accounting firm for 83 years, as well as its managing partner, Brian Cullinan, whose “human error” was cited as the reason for the mix-up. The fiasco was unprecedented in 89 years of Oscar history and immediately overshadowed such notorious moments as Sacheen Littlefeather’s surprise appearance in 1973 to decline Marlon Brando’s award for “The Godfather “or the streaker who tried to upstage David Niven in 1974.

    In the immediate aftermath of the event, much to Boone Isaacs’ and Hudson’s fury, nobody was prepared to accept blame, which instead seemed to accrue to Beatty and Dunaway. Beatty himself seemed upset in an email to The Hollywood Reporter two days after the show: “Rather than for me to respond to questions from the press about the Academy ceremony,” he wrote, “I feel it would be more appropriate for the president of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, to publicly clarify what happened as soon as possible.”

    In two statements released by the accountants, they did not reveal how the mix-up occurred but (somewhat belatedly) took “full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols.” Once the error occurred, “protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner.”

    Only after that statement did the Academy issue its own apology to the presenters and the “La La Land” and “Moonlight” filmmakers, noting, “We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the best picture category.”

    In what proved to be an eerily prescient Feb. 24 interview with The Huffington Post, Cullinan and fellow accountant Martha Ruiz were asked what might happen if a presenter read the wrong name, and they admitted no exact procedure was in place.

    “We would make sure that the correct person was known very quickly,” said Cullinan. “Whether that entails stopping the show, us walking onstage, us signaling to the stage manager — that’s really a game-time decision, if something like that were to happen.” He called it “so unlikely.”

    Now the focus is turning to Cullinan. A Harley-riding Malibu resident and self-proclaimed Damon look-alike (he has proudly announced that on Facebook), Cullinan is being blamed for allowing himself to be distracted by the celebrities who surrounded him. He tweeted a photo of Stone minutes before the mix-up despite reportedly being asked not to do so. His tweets from Oscar night, which have all since been deleted, included an image of the briefcase with the envelopes and one of supporting actress winner Viola Davis. He was described by PwC’s U.S. chairman Tim Ryan as feeling “very, very terrible” about what happened, but did not return calls for comment.

    Cullinan, other members of the accounting team and the Academy’s Hudson were locked in talks Feb. 27 to get to the bottom of the matter. It is unclear what the repercussions might be for the firm; few expect the Academy to sever its ties altogether, but financial compensation or a donation to one of the charities it supports might be in order. The Academy itself will conduct a full-scale postmortem on the show, but that’s standard practice for the organization.

    Some criticized the Academy for not immediately stepping forward and apologizing for the foul-up. But Boone Isaacs and Hudson are extremely press-wary and, even as the Academy courts a worldwide audience for the Oscars, it often has expressed frustration with the constant scrutiny.

    De Luca says he was “heartbroken” by what happened. “I wanted the show to be remembered for the Katherine Johnson moment, the James Foley moment with Sting, and Dev Patel’s wonderful introduction of Sting. I wanted the heartfelt moments to be what we’re talking about today, and I wanted the funny moments that Jimmy brought, the really inventive or irreverent bits. I wanted that to be the topic of conversation. The anger came later but I’ve been through all the stages now. Now, I’m into acceptance and forgiveness.”

    De Luca says he would be happy to return as a producer for 2018’s Oscars, if asked. “I’m on record saying I want to do next year, because it’s the 90th anniversary and I’m really jonesing for it,” he says. “I don’t know if they’ll pick me again, but I would absolutely come back next year. I loved it. I’ve got to say in all seriousness, with the mistakes aside, it was a great experience.” (SD-Agencies)

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