Opinion: Why all the fuss over the Oscars? It’s not like Warren Beatty ‘amputated the wrong limb’

2017 Oscars
Warren Beatty attempts to explain how “La La Land” was mistakenly announced as the best picture winner instead of “Moonlight.”
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It’s amazing that there’s so much coverage regarding the mistake at Sunday’s Academy Awards in announcing the best picture winner. (“The best picture show at the Oscars: the flub, the reactions, the blame,” Feb. 27)

The mistake was the result of human error — an accountant handed Warren Beatty the wrong envelope, for goodness’ sake. It’s not like a surgeon amputated the wrong limb or the prison system executed the wrong inmate. 

Look on the bright side: The cast and crew of “La La Land” were able to experience what it feels like to win an Oscar for the most coveted film award on the world stage, however fleeting, which most people will never experience. The academy should utilize this mistake for commercials before next year’s broadcast; I bet viewership will be the largest ever. 

Jerry Uebel, Montrose



To the editor: Someone (PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant Brian Cullinan) was using his smartphone and tweeting when he should have been concentrating on his work.

Sound familiar? It certainly is to all the bosses, teachers and drivers out there who are faced with this “new normal” every day.

Cullinan’s boss needed to be supervising him, apparently, and needed to say, “Brian, put away your phone and focus on your job.” Then everything would have been fine.


Kirk Jordan, Long Beach


To the editor: “To err is human; to forgive, divine,” Alexander Pope once said, and that sentiment should be extended to Cullinan, who gave out the wrong envelope before the best picture announcement. 

Cullinan may not be back at next year’s Oscars, but keeping him away would be wrong, as he probably would be the least likely accountant to make that mistake again.

Robert Ladendorf, Los Angeles


To the editor: Beatty’s and Faye Dunaway’s Oscar gaffe and inability to improvise remind me of Peter O’Toole’s line from “My Favorite Year”: “I’m not an actor, I’m a movie star.” 

Under the bizarre circumstances Beatty should have ad-libbed another great movie line, “Houston, we have a problem,” thus keeping Dunaway from blurting out erroneous remarks. 


On the other hand, it did make for one bang-up ending to the show.

John Zavesky, Riverside

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