It was called the biggest Oscar blunder of all time when the wrong winner was announced for Best Picture. It was also a remarkable display of professionalism and grace under pressure.
Prior to the show, the representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers described the attention to detail in preparing for the Oscars. They described the back-up plan should anything go wrong. Each representative had memorized all of the winners so they could recognize if the announced winner was inaccurate and correct it. This is exactly what happened. There was no waiting until the next day to decide how to spin it. An error occurred and it was corrected immediately, on stage and on live television. Any concern about awkwardness or embarrassment was set aside in the interests of making it right.
Likewise, the cast and crew from “La La Land” were quick to congratulate the cast and crew from “Moonlight.” Nobody complained that the system was rigged or that they were the ones who truly deserved to win. When host Jimmy Kimmel asked if Oscars could be given to everyone, the spokesperson from “La La Land” quickly replied that it would be his honor to present the award to his friends from “Moonlight.”
For their part, the “Moonlight” folks tempered their own excitement with recognition of how difficult it was for the folks from “La La Land” gathered on the stage.
Perhaps ABC could send a clip of this “blunder” to the White House as a demonstration of what professionalism and grace look like.