If It Can Happen to The Oscars It Can Happen to Anyone... But Anyway, Back to Moonlight!

“What a night for the Oscars…  At MOBO the phone’s been buzzing off the hook this morning with people wanting to talk to us about the ‘wrong envelope’ incident of 2016.  Shame they weren’t interested at the time – but better late than never!  Several have even been kind enough to publicly apologise for their criticism at the time – if it can happen at the biggest awards show on the planet, it can happen to anyone right?


Awards ceremonies – the MOBO Awards, the BRITs, the Oscars – work because they look like they’re made of magic.  The most beautiful and talented people on earth gather together to celebrate fantastic works of imagination that allow us all to look up momentarily from the grind of our daily reality and imagine other possibilities.  It’s escapism – fun, glamorous and aspirational – and we all put a great deal of value on it.  Not least as there’s also a significant commercial aspect to it which can see fortunes rise with each gong – newcomer Lupita Nyongo became an established name off the back of her success with ‘12 Years a Slave’, and at MOBO we’re proud of the number of artists who have gone on to great things having received early recognition from MOBO. 


Perhaps then it’s not surprising that the immediate response from the internet when it happens can be aggressive – nevertheless we were surprised by the vitriol levelled at MOBO for what was at heart a simple human error.  We hope that the Oscars have escaped more lightly – although we doubt it.  The fact is that for all the fairy dust, the scale of productions like the MOBO Awards – let alone the Oscars – is breathtaking, bigger than most might imagine, taking months and months of work with hundreds of individuals working together incredibly hard to pull it off.  Robots can’t make magic.  It’s the people that bring the passion – but we are all only human, and very occasionally mistakes will be made.   


It seems a shame when it happens (and the Oscars are only the latest in a long line that just recently has included the EMAs and Miss Universe as well as the MOBO Awards) that it invariably overshadows the achievement of the award itself. 


Let’s stop for a minute and appreciate this: ‘Moonlight’ – a small-budget film about a poor, black, gay boy in Miami that took just 25 days to shoot – has won the Oscar for Best Picture – and Best Screenplay.  To top it all, Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actor and Actress respectively – the first time both awards have been won by people of colour. These are the great things that should be remembered loudest about this year’s Academy Awards, in a year that saw the Iranian director and star of Best Foreign Language Film ‘The Salesman’ boycott the ceremony in protest at the leader of the free world’s “racist” travel ban against 7 countries.


AMEN to that.”


Kanya King