11 Past Oscars Screw-Ups and Other Awards Show Flubs

12:07 AM 2/27/2017

by Farnoush Amiri and Kaeli Wells

From announcing the wrong winner at the Oscars to technical difficulties at the Grammys, these are 11 memorable awards show mistakes.

With any live show, there are bound to be mishaps and flubs, but some last in our awards show memories longer than others.

On Sunday night, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the incorrect best picture winner onstage at the Oscars, declaring La La Land had won instead of the actual winner, Moonlight. After La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz realized that his film was incorrectly announced as the best picture winner, he made sure to correct the error and hand over his trophy to the Moonlight crew.

Horowitz assured the audience it wasn't a joke and held up the card that showed Moonlight as the winner.

"I opened the envelope, and it said 'Emma Stone, La La Land.' That's why I took such a long look at Faye, and at you. I wasn't trying to be funny," Beatty said onstage after admitting to the mistake. La La Land's cast and crew had already taken the stage to accept their awards and thank their loved ones when the stage crew came in quietly to announce the mix-up.

Thus, whether it was this year's Oscar best picture mix-up, a censoring of politically fueled acceptance speeches or a tipsy presenter, here are some of the biggest flubs in awards show history.

  • Steve Harvey Announces the Wrong Name at Miss Universe


    During the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey misread the winner card, resulting in the crowning of Miss Colombia instead of the actual winner, Miss Philippines. Shortly after Miss Colombia was crowned, Harvey admitted his mistake on live TV. 

  • Sammy Davis Jr. Announces Wrong Winner at the Oscars


    Another time the wrong winner was announced at the Oscars was back in 1964, when presenter Sammy Davis Jr. was handed the wrong envelope and announced that the award for music (scoring of music -- adaptation or treatment) was won by John Addison for Tom Jones, who was not among the nominees. The winner was actually Andre Previn for Irma La Douce, and the mistake was immediately corrected.

  • John Travolta Pronounces Idina Menzel as Adele Dazeem at the Oscars


    At the 2014 Oscars, John Travolta took to the stage to introduce Idina Menzel's performance of her famous song "Let It Go," from Frozen, but accidentally called the songstress "Adele Dazeem." 


  • 'The Talk' Hosts Almost Announce Wrong Category at Daytime Emmys


    While on stage presenting the Emmy for outstanding talk show — informative, Aisha Tyler from The Talk opened her envelope to present the winner but realized the envelope disclosed the winner for a different category. Eventually, the correct envelope is handed over to the daytime host, and the winner was The Dr. Oz Show

  • Jimmy Fallon's Technical Difficulty at the Golden Globes


    During the 74th annual Golden Globes, Jimmy Fallon joked about a technical problem during his monologue after the La La Land-themed opening. While he revealed the TelePromter was down, Fallon said "I can think of something — cut to Justin Timberlake, please, and he'll just wink at me or something — this is great. You know what? I'll make up this monologue." The host also joked that the technical problem had to do with Mariah Carey's New Year's Eve microphone drama. 

  • Michael Keaton Says "Hidden Fences" Instead of "Hidden Figures" at the Golden Globes


    It all began on the red carpet on Golden Globes night, when preshow host Laura Bush called the critically acclaimed film "Hidden Fences" instead of "Hidden Figures" while interviewing Pharrell WIlliams, a producer on the film, and unknowingly joined together two nominated films with all-black casts. But Michael Keaton made the same mistake on the telecast, presenting the award for best supporting actress to Viola Davis and instead of saying Fences, said "Hidden Fences." 

  • When the Wrong Frank Accepts the Award



    During the 1933 Academy Awards, the wrong Frank stood up to accept the award for best director. Presenter Will Rogers stated, "Come on up and get it, Frank." However, he left the last name out, confusing the nominees. Frank Capra (Lady for a Day), who was caught up in the excitement, immediately stood up and headed toward the stage, but the real winner was Frank Lloyd (Cavalcade).

  • Robert Opel Streaks Across the Stage at the Oscars


    As host David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor, presenter of the best picture Oscar, a thin, dark-haired naked man came streaking out from stage left waving a two-fingered peace sign. The man was conceptual artist, photographer and gay rights activist Robert Opel, and this wasn't his first time streaking, but it was the first time this happened on an Oscar stage. Quipped Niven: "Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen. But isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?"

  • Rosalind Russell Stands Up Prematurely to Accept Her Award


    After losing best actress twice before, Rosalind Russell was so confident in her chance of winning best actress for Mourning Becomes Electra that she stood up to accept the award before the winner was even announced. The real winner, however, was Loretta Young for The Farmer's Daughter.

  • Sally Field's Anti-War Speech at the Emmys Gets Cut Off


    While accepting her award for best performance in a dramatic series for her role in Brothers & Sisters, Field said, "At the heart of [her character] Nora Walker, she is a mother. May they be seen, may their work be valued and raised, especially the mothers who stand with an open heart and wait — wait for their children to come home from danger, from harm's way and from war." As the music began to swell, signaling she should wrap up her remarks, she exclaimed, "I'm not finished. I have to finish talking. … If the mothers ruled the world there would be no God—" The broadcast then cut to a generic view of the theater.

    The uncensored version, which aired live on the Canadian broadcast of the award show, is below. 

  • Elizabeth Taylor's Golden Globes Mishap


    When presenting an award at the 2001 Golden Globes, Elizabeth Taylor began to open the envelope before the nominees were announced, as the crowd started yelling at her to stop. Producer Dick Clark took the stage to rescue Taylor.