The Oscars® is one of the great and pompous celebration where the Association rewards the artist for their work in a motion picture, documentary or short film. At this event we can apreciate the greatness of their acting, the magnificent dresses and their personal points of view in the Hollywood industry. Everything has to be perfect, but when it doesn’t everyone will notice, even the smallest flaw we can see it.
Everybody tunned in to watch and praise the biggest stars and movies of the year. As it is natural, a ceremony of this seize tends to have flaws, through the years we’ve seen failures that surprises us (from the celebrities’s dresses to a telepromter failing, to a political speech), but this year the biggest fail blew us away. But why does this matter?
It matters because everyone is talking about it, and also because we can learn a little philosphy with it. This flaw or mistake that happened is an act of distaste: to mistake the greatest movie of the year for another one. This may be simple to us, but the fact that people worked hard to make it deserves to be carefully handled. We don´t like to be mocked or ridicule by others, less when we put all our effort to it, a simple mistake that might seem makes us angry:
“Anger may be defined as an impulse, accompanied by pain, to a conspicuous revenge for a conspicuous slight directed without justification towards what concerns oneself or towards what concerns one’s friends. (1378a)”
As Aristotle would explain the his work Rhethorics “It is a cause of anger when mocked in capacity… (1379a)”. And at the person who did it (the one that gets to be blamed): “those lacking completely or to any effective extent in the qualities in question (1380a).” In this case it wasn’t Warren Beatty’s fault, nor Faye Dunaway’s, but the organization behind. The problem is that knowing what it meant to win best picture isn’t a matter to take with mockery, but to be serious.
Why does it concerns us? Well what happened is a matter of Ethics (the science that studies human moral actions). That mistake was made by free will due to many factors: pressure, emotion, thought, lights, expectations, etc. But what matters most of it is: judgement. What could have happened if Warren or Faye interrupted the ceremony by saying that the envelope was wrong (knowing that it was wrong) instead of misreading it?
On another note, the Oscar given to Cassey Affleck affects the moral concerns in Hollywood. Just by being a good actor counts to get one of the biggest awards? Does it also count their personal life? If we award someone who has abused his position, hability and dignity of himself and others, why does it mean to reward him for his on screen job but his lousy life? Where does the line goes at the awards?
Of course, there are many factors in play, but we always have our rationality and our instinct to tell us what is happening to take the best course of action. Ethics studies this actions and explains what is in play and the morality of it. We see all our options with our intelligence and then with our will we select the best of all (like a menu of our different courses of action) and take action. This was a mistake, but it has made history. Hopefully it doesn’t repeat again.