Film academy’s apparent Oscar ‘predictions’ leave Twitter users confused

The stunned audience after it learned that "Moonlight" and not the previously announced "La La Land" had won the best picture Oscar in 2017.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Oscar watchers may have gotten flashbacks to 2017’s “envelope-gate” Monday afternoon when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences appeared to post its official “predictions” for this year’s Oscars on Twitter, showing Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” winning best picture and Sam Mendes taking best director for “1917.”

Coming a day before this year’s Oscars voting period ends on Tuesday, the widely shared tweet — which has since been deleted — quickly sparked confusion, with many wondering if the organization had accidentally leaked the winners of Sunday’s show in advance or had its account hacked somehow.

“Wait, did you just spoil the whole thing?” one Twitter user asked. “A Social Media Manager is having a bad day,” wrote another.


In fact, the puzzling tweet — which tracked with what are widely considered the front-runners in a number of races — was connected to the launch of an automated social media widget called the Oscars Prediction Experience that allows users to create and share their own Oscar ballots in advance of the show on Sunday.

In response to the bewilderment, the group shared a tweet from former awards pundit Kris Tapley, who wrote, “Everyone chill, it’s a predictions app!”

Hours later, the academy clarified the situation on Twitter, explaining, “A brief issue on Twitter made some of your [predictions] look like they came from our account. They didn’t. This error is now resolved. And we’ll reveal our picks on Sunday.”