“This morning, in an attempt to release breaking news as announced, ABC Digital briefly posted inaccurate nomination information on the Oscar.com website.” “The nominees announced by the Academy on Twitter were accurate. ABC quickly identified and corrected the errors. We apologize to the Academy, press and fans for any confusion.”
So, let me break it down.
ABC Digital, Burbank, CA: I was back with the team and the talk was all about the Oscars, the sponsors, the spreadsheets, the early morning call for the next day and hopeful dependency on WordPress.
The meeting was aimed at getting us ready for the Morning of the Year.
It was odd that despite year after year of trial runs, there was an energy that flowed with reckless uncertainty.
This was my first dive into the Awards pool. I agreed to help man the ship of names that would be announced at rapid speed. I bragged about my impeccable ability to whip up the keyboard in accordance with this mission.
They believed me. I believed me.
I was assigned with two others and all I had to do was:
watch the announcements from my laptop
type the information into Slack
forward it to the worker bee tasked with updating Oscar.com.
I was pumped the night before and basically spent collected hours on my couch, sipping wine and resuming my affair with Being Mary Jane. I dozed off and when I woke up I retrieved my iPhone from the floor.
It was time.
Thank God for Uber. Thank God for customized Starbucks machines within reach. Thank God for the privilege of being on the verge of stardom through the over-paid talents that can’t wait to mark up their checkbooks once their images light up the screen.
I was the first to arrive.
There is a serenity that overcomes when you embody a space that you know will be overflowing with staged chaos, but is temporarily aligned with your spirit.
I remember sitting at the desk, staring at the laptop and waiting for the warm up session to end. Suddenly a chill gripped my core and I quickly reached for the coffee to warm me up, but it didn’t help.
As I glanced at my inbox, my fears were heightened by the realization that the “mock list” that was supposed to be sent to us ahead of time — was nowhere to be found.
The noise jolted me back and I immersed myself in the activity. Yes, this was going to be a blast, and no, I wasn’t nervous because I was building my own “mock list” — conceived from speculation, instinct, and the recommendations of seasoned critics.
Time really flies when you’re sort of having fun.
The countdown began just as I was polishing off the names that would not only make history — but also save my ass.
This year, the formula was reinvented. Instead of the standard recitations — it became a program of annoyingly configured increments tossed in for boredom.
On your mark, get set, go!
It started off badly, the middle was better and the end was brutal.
Copy and paste was the armor of my choice in this race against The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline, and all the other sharks circulating the same feed.
I believed in the names I had gathered.
The process of entry was all wrong. Surely there had to be a better way to send over pertinent details without the threat of casualties. Once the vital categories arrived, I relaxed with the bravado that I was as close at it gets.
I was back baby!
Despite the lack of a captain of the ship that was about to sink, I stepped up and pasted with glee. There she was! And there he was! And then, there was darkness.
Mouths moving with no sound, bodies in feverish motion, and the eyes searching for life in a template that was slowly losing blood flow.
“Why did you send me names that weren’t on the list??”
Fuck! Because I was convinced Amy Adams would score a nomination and as the names were being read, I grabbed hers, as recognition of my allegiance to a performance that I thought would translate.
Fuck me! Tom Hanks was sloppy work. I think he’s great but he seems like he works for the endorsement of the Academy and that’s a huge turnoff. I regret him.
I was rooting for Amy.
My carelessness became a national sensation as outlets proudly outed ABC Digital for failing to live up to its reputation — as if any publication adheres to the gems of yesteryears.
Our battle station was instantly converted into a sick bay as public relations worked to produce the antidote to the disease that was spreading because of — my unsteady hands.
My teammate who posted what I gave her — was in tears and I imploded into a whirlpool of my own. I will always hate her for that.
I cursed my overly-long fingers. I begged the hands of time to give me another chance to fix things, and I clung to the hope that the Academy would mercifully change their minds and give Amy Adams her due — based on the growing sentiment of fans who were on my side.
It never happened and luck eventually ran out.
My fuck up was everywhere and I was stuck internalizing the mess that got so big the day of and after before deflating once Trump did something else to pissed people off.
I fucked up. And it was at the expense of a woman of color who rightfully earned her slot — but thanks to me — for a brief moment — she was missing in action.
I’m ecstatic for Ruth Negga, but I wish there was enough room for Amy.
My summary of events can be ensconced in the truth of a team that works hard, but lacks a leader.
Someone who develops what’s needed to guarantee the results that don’t end in coerced apologies with the embarrassment imprinted in the wires of Google that travel for a lifetime.
I pride myself to be astutely capable of delivering the cargo with nothing missing, but this time — there was no way to escape the inevitable.
I sank the ship and almost drowned.
Your subconscious can either boost or depress your reputation. A year ago I was the star of content — and now I was the leper with a bullseye that needed to be targeted and vanquished.
I took Uber home and my driver gave me a book he wrote titled: The Way to Happiness — after I divulged the happenings of the day.
Weeks later, I am once again left to my own devices without the dictation of the digital portal that let me sink or swim because nobody works anymore.
We impishly rely on speed and tackle accuracy later.
Hopefully my unwrapped gift will force those in charge to step up for the next round. But, I doubt it. That’s not who we are anymore.
For me, I’m cool! And I suspect Amy Adams feels the same way.