The ending of Sunday’s Oscars may have been the worst that viewers have ever heard of. But, one ABC executive might respond, you have heard of it.
The 93rd Academy Awards concluded with one of the show’s most shocking endings of all time after producers surprisingly gave out the award for Best Actor, not Best Picture, last. Seemingly, the hope was to end with Chadwick Boseman posthumously winning that trophy. But instead, Boseman lost to Anthony Hopkins in a major upset, and Hopkins wasn’t even there to deliver a speech. This made for a bizarrely anticlimactic conclusion, and the decision to reshuffle the awards based on the assumption that Boseman would win drew criticism, especially since this awkward finale somewhat overshadowed Nomadland‘s historic Best Picture win.
On Monday morning, ABC executive Rob Mills defended the decision in an interview with Variety while celebrating the fact that, well, it at least people are discussing it.
“It was not meant to end on somebody who was not present,” Mills said. “It was a calculated risk, that I think still paid off because everybody was talking about it.”
Mills also said that the order in which the awards were given out was tweaked to create a sense of unpredictability.
“I think some people thought maybe they missed some awards,” Mills told Variety. “‘Why is best picture early?’ or, ”What’s happening, this is crazy,’ almost like, ‘How can this possibly happen? Best picture has to end it!’ Some people were upset, some people loved it and that was really the point that there was no apathy.”
Yes, one might think questions like “what’s happening” and “how can this possibly happen” aren’t feelings you’d want confused viewers to have at the conclusion of a three-hour awards show. But one thing’s for sure: for better or for worse, this is one Oscars ending that, like the infamous La La Land flub before it, won’t be soon forgotten. Brendan Morrow