Assuming you do not live under a rock, you probably heard about the Oscars mishap that occurred this past Sunday. Now being called “envelopegate,” the gaffe has been thoroughly investigated, speculated, and discussed. In case you do live under a rock or pride yourself in your distance from awards shows and relevant social phenomenon here’s what you missed: everyone thought La La Land was going to win Best Picture – even the announcers. They announced La La Land as the winner even though the real winner was the film Moonlight. It was overwhelmingly awkward because the whole La La Land crew was onstage giving their acceptance speeches when the Oscar executives realized the catastrophe that had occurred. Team La La was then kicked off the stage to make room for Moonlight. End result: less screen time for Ryan Gosling (a true devastation) and a very embarrassed academy.
The event itself was a true disaster. Apparently the envelopes were mixed up and just a tiny mistake led to what has been called “the greatest announcement fail of our generation.” What an endearing designation. The Oscars have, however, been credited with doing decent clean up work. They have issued their apologies, schmoozed the people who were offended, probably paid someone some money. One important distinction that people have identified as positively impacting the apology is the overall sincerity. Everyone involved in the mishap seemed genuinely sorry for the mistake and the effect it had on the cast and crew of both films. Although the media is still trashing the Oscars, they have successfully dodged being made to look unapologetic or insincere.
The take-away from this event is how to handle mistakes. If you are responsible for the mistake and it affects others around you, it is important to apologize and apologize sincerely. Additionally, make sure that you don’t over-apologize. The Oscars have apologized and done it well, but they haven’t over-apologized. Apologizing too much can continue to draw attention to the mistake. Apologize effectively and sincerely – but then hope it goes away. Don’t continue to point out your mistakes – even if it involves kicking Ryan Gosling off stage. Cue anarchy.