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Hollywood by Choice

The Oscars: A night to remember

Gail Choice | 3/2/2017, midnight
Oh, what a night! If you missed the 88th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, you missed a lot. To begin with, ...

Oh, what a night! If you missed the 88th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, you missed a lot. To begin with, Viola Davis took home the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for “Fences”, making her the fourth Black actress to win the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. And the first Black Actress to win the Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards.

Davis, amid a standing ovation, gracefully made her way to the podium and proceeded to blow everyone’s mind with a speech that stunned the audience. Here are several snippets from her speech:

“I became an artist and thank God I did because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.”

She paid homage to playwright August Wilson and director Denzel Washington, “So here’s to August Wilson who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people.” And oh captain, my captain, Denzel Washington, thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat, August and God, and they served you well”

And to her family, “The people who taught me how to fail, how to love, how to hold an award, how to lose, my parents. I’m so thankful that God chose you to bring me into this world.

“And to my husband and my daughter, my heart, you and Genesis, you teach me every day how to live, how to love. I’m so glad you are the foundation of my life.”

For the entire speech go to ABC’s YouTube page.

As mentioned earlier, Viola Davis is the first Black woman to win an Oscar (2017) “Fences,” Emmy (2015) “How to Get Away with Murder,” and Tony Award, (2010) “King Hedley.” She’s a ‘triple threat.’

The night’s other big winner was Mahershala Ali who received the Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his character in “Moonlight” in which he plays a kind-hearted Miami drug dealer who becomes a father figure to a boy who is struggling with his sexuality.

Ali is touted as being the first Muslim to win an Oscar. Ali was raised as a Christian in Oakland, Calif. and converted to the Ahmadiyya sect, also known as Ahmadi Muslims who are sometimes viewed as non-Muslims because they do not consider Mohammed as the last prophet sent by God.

Moonlight also won awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.

By now everyone knows that a ‘Tweet’ may be the cause of what The Hollywood Reporter (THR) labels ‘the biggest blunder” in Oscar history.

According to THR film producers, [“La La Land”] Fred Berger and Marc Platt were already on stage and Platt was making his acceptance speech; Platt, unaware of what had happened, wrapped up his speech and pushed Berger toward the microphone. At first Berger said no, but with the mic sitting open, he had to talk. And then, he ended his speech by saying: “We lost, by the way.” Fellow producer Jordan Horowitz rushed in and said “There’s a mistake—"Moonlight,” you won best picture.”

The chaos was because Warren Beatty had been handed the wrong envelope—he was given the extra copy of Emma Stone’s best actress card—by Brian Cullinan, chairman of the U.S. Board of PwC. (PricewaterhouseCoopers) sharing Academy Award duties with colleague Martha Ruiz. According to various reports, Cullinan is known for being enamored with Hollywood and tweeted a photo of Stone backstage after her win, just minutes before he handed the wrong envelope to Beatty.

It was announced this week Cullinan and fellow PwC associate Martha Ruiz will not return for the 2018 Oscars.

PwC, which has overseen the Academy’s ballot-counting process for 83 years, released its statement of apology three hours later. It followed up with a second apology, which it described as a “revised statement,” Monday evening. Saying it took “full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols,” it singled out Cullinan for his tweeting during the event and for handing Beatty the wrong envelope.”