La La Land was the clear winner at last night’s 74th annual Golden Globe awards, but the most talked-about film, “Hidden Fences,” doesn’t exist.
The joke of the night started on the red carpet when Jenna Bush Hager, NBC correspondent and daughter of former President George W. Bush, asked musician Pharrell Williams about his work in “Hidden Fences” — jumbling Fences, the drama starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, with Hidden Figures, for which Williams did compose a song.
Hidden Figures is about Katherine G. Johnson, the woman who calculated flight trajectories for the first manned moon landing in 1969. Williams’ reaction to Hager’s lead-in, “You’re known for your work in Hidden Fences,” kickstarted the joke of the night. It can be seen in the video below.
People on Twitter were quick to react to both Hager’s mistake and Williams’ side-eye reaction to the question. Many also pointed out that “Hidden Fences” couldn’t be found on IMDB and didn’t seem to be a movie that was ever actually made.
When Jenna Bush said "Hidden Fences" to Pharrell on the Golden Globes red carpet.... pic.twitter.com/fk0VnToRNo— Mocha (@divineriss) January 9, 2017
"You're nominated for hidden fences"— Dazzzit (@_imnotyourmate) January 9, 2017
Jenna Bush - "Hidden Fences"— Win + Woo (@WinandWoo) January 9, 2017
Pharrell - pic.twitter.com/11AwAheVfo
It didn’t take long for the first Hidden Fences Twitter account of the night to be made. The account’s main photo included Williams’ side-eye and rounded up tweets related to the musician’s reaction.
After the red carpet show it seemed like Twitter’s attention had moved away from the “Hidden Fences” debacle. But then, later in the night, Michael Keaton announced the nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture — and he also said “Hidden Fences” instead of Hidden Figures when reading Octavia Spencer’s name, and Twitter erupted once more.
Michael Keaton is the 2nd person tonight to refer to Hidden Figues as Hidden Fences... pic.twitter.com/aplvnPX19a— Ilana Phillips (@ilphil) January 9, 2017
"Hidden Fences" (2018) starring Michael Keaton & Jenna Bush: drama of 2 white ppl who spend a lifetime looking for fences that aren't there.— Emily Berna (@EmilyBerna) January 9, 2017
michael keaton: [internally] dont say hidden fences, dont say hidden fences— Jon Butler (@myfaceisdumb) January 9, 2017
keaton: octavia spencer, hidden fences
keaton: [internally] pic.twitter.com/bxm3VfZRzt
Even The New York Times, which was live-tweeting the awards last night, felt compelled to acknowledge that Hidden Figures and Fences were not the same movie. The account noted that despite both Hager and Keaton saying “Hidden Fences” there was no movie by that name.
Which, to reiterate, is not the same movie as "Hidden Figures," and neither movie is titled "Hidden Fences." https://t.co/2CbzSm4TYx— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 9, 2017
More “Hidden Fences” Twitter accounts popped up following Keaton’s flub, and despite it being the joke of the evening, many were offended by the mixup. Both Hidden Figures and Fences star a predominantly black cast, and the combination of the names upset many.
On Reddit, one user wrote that considering Keaton had a teleprompter to read off of and both films are well known and highly regarded, the mistake shouldn’t have happened.
“There was a teleprompter for both of these incidents and both movies were critically acclaimed so it's not like they've never heard of the movies,” the wrote. “It shouldn't have happened.”
On NBC’s Today show this morning, Hager apologized for the honest mistake. While many are still upset about the mixup, it seems that for the most part, people are regarding it as an honest mistake on both Hager and Keaton’s part.
Name mix-ups at award shows isn’t new, either. John Travolta got Broadway star Idina Menzel’s name wrong when introducing her at the 2014 Academy Awards, and in December 2015, Dennis Quaid mispronounced Brooklyn actress Saoirse Ronan’s name while reading out the 2016 Golden Globe nominations.
Hidden Figures and Fences are currently playing in theaters.