If you watched the final category at the Oscars on Sunday evening, February 26, 2017, you saw La La Land had won best picture. Many of us shrugged our shoulders, turned off the television and went to bed. And then all hell broke loose! Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were given the wrong best picture announcement card by the PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) representatives. La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz handled the snafu with class and dignity and got it right, Moonlight won best picture.
We immediately went into finger pointing mode. Whom did we blame? At first, the finger pointing went to Beatty and Dunaway. Then the finger pointed at the PwC representatives. The fingers got pointed at the Oscar's producer, Michael De Luca, for not having better oversight. Finger pointing went to whomever designed the Oscar announcement cards for poor design, layout and typography.
If you are in charge of next year's Oscars, what would you do?
Here is what I know for sure. People make mistakes. Great discoveries are made in pain, suffering and mistakes. I would act with grace. I would give everyone who was involved in the 2017 Oscars a "fail forward card!"
I'd go back to the 2017 Oscar card announcement designer(s) and have them make the 2018 Oscar announcement cards. You can bet he/she/they will get it right! I predict the 2018 Oscar announcement cards will be the easiest cards to read and understand while on stage in front 33 million viewers and the Dolby Theater audience of 3,400.
I would not only have PwC continue to oversee the tabulation of the Oscar voting, I would bring back PwC accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz to hand out the announcement cards again in 2018. You can bet they will be on top of their responsibilities and get it right!
I'd bring back the 2017 Oscar producer, Michael De Luca, to produce the 2018 Oscars. I believe he will find the most creative, committed and accountable staff to produce an over-the-top 2018 Oscar program. I'd make sure Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were again co-presenters, if not for best picture, then for another category.
This would be a "Golden Rule" moment to transcend what we believe to be the worst in people to the belief that people can be better than they were when given another opportunity. It is a belief that we grow from mistakes and failures.
Grace is a powerful, healing force. Forgiveness is all about extending grace. Forgiveness is about giving another opportunity to correct and be better. It is the gift we need to extend to ourselves and others. It is the work of the soul, based in humility. Grace and forgiveness check pride and tame it. The finger pointing focuses not on others but the three fingers turned toward us. Forgiveness affirms we are human, and we are worthy of love rather than shame. Aren't we all called to extend this love to others?