Last night’s 89th annual Academy Awards turned out to be one of the most memorable in recent years thanks to a major award flub and Ryan Gosling, both of which have earned official meme status online.
There were many strange moments during last night’s telecast, which ABC late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel hosted, but these two seem to have stuck out the most. The first occurred when Kimmel brought a group of actual tourists to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood to take in the award show ceremony for themselves. Multiple tourists were brought to the front of the theater and introduced to a number of actors, including Denzel Washington and Ryan Gosling.
When Gosling got up to say hello to a fan, Vickie from Chicago, the internet managed to capture this fantastic moment. In the actual video it’s obvious Vickie from Chicago is a pretty big fan of the Canadian actor, who was nominated for Best Actor following his work in La La Land, which he lost out to Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea for, but the photo tells a different story.
Quick frankly, Vickie looks terrified. The moment became one of the biggest memes of the night, with the photo being shared like rapid fire with numerous captions.
Even this reporter couldn’t help but get in on the fun, referencing another meme entirely from 2014 and Captain America: Winter Solider.
The question, however, is what did Gosling whisper into Vickie’s ear? Unfortunately, we may never know and that recalls one of the most memorable moments in film. At the end of Lost in Translation, Bill Murray whispers something in Scarlett Johansson’s ear. The sound is distorted so you can’t make out what he’s saying. The two made a pledge never to reveal what Murray said to Johansson, and it has become one of the most famous scenes in a film because of the secrecy surrounding it.
Who knows? Maybe Gosling just whispered a calm, “Hey girl,” before sitting back down in his seat.
The other meme that overtook the Oscars happened after the ceremony came to an end. After La La Land was mistakenly called out as the winner for Best Picture, producer Jordan Horowitz grabbed the envelope out of presenter Warren Beatty’s hand and flashed it on camera, proving Moonlight was the actual recipient of the award.
It was that quick flicker of movement, where the camera zoomed in on Moonlight’s name written in the card, that became the subject of various Photoshop jobs. It wasn’t just people watching the show who got involved in the process, either. Netflix tweeted out an edited version of the moment, listing BoJack Horseman’s fake movie, Secretariat, as the winning film. In BoJack Horseman’s third season, the titular character takes on the role of the famous racehorse in an attempt to win an Oscar for his portrayal of the character and become a respected actor once again.
Of course, other people jumped on the meme bandwagon, posting their own versions of the joke.
Although Moonlight was the recipient of three Oscars — Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Best Picture — La La Land still managed to take home the most awards of the evening. Most notably, Emma Stone won the award for Best Actress and Damien Chazelle won the award for Best Director. His award makes him the youngest director to win the award in 86 years, going back to 1931. That year, Norman Taurog, who was 32 at the time, won the award for his movie, Skippy.
The full list of Oscar recipients, which includes Suicide Squad for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, can be seen here.