Who To Blame For What Happened At the 89th Academy Awards

Spoiler alert: blame the moon.

So, the Oscars.

The day was Sunday, February 26. The time was 9:12 p.m. PST. La La Land Producer Jordan Horowitz grabbed the microphone and said, “I’m sorry, no, there’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture.”

You’ve already heard this story before. Chances are, you saw it unfold with your own eyes on Sunday night. Chances are, you’ve watched all the videos and read all the thinkpieces and retweeted all the tweets about it in the week since it’s happened. Chances are, you’re sick of talking about it already.

(Too bad! I’m going to talk about it some more!)

Everyone is searching for someone to blame. We want to blame Warren Beatty for not speaking up sooner when he realized something was wrong; we want to blame Faye Dunaway for reading “La La Land” off of what turned out to be the wrong card; we want to blame PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that handles the Academy Awards balloting process, for mixing up the award envelopes; we want to blame La La Land producer Fred Berger for giving his acceptance speech and ending it with, “We lost, by the way,” as if it didn’t matter that he was accepting an award he didn’t win; we want to blame the media for focusing so heavily on the “snafu” and La La Land’s loss instead of Moonlight’s historic and well-deserved win. We want so badly to blame somebody, but it seems there’s no consensus on who. How about we blame the moon?

On Sunday morning, a new moon occurred in Pisces, heightened in intensity by the solar eclipse that happened the same day. A new moon is, put simply, a new beginning — it encourages the breaking of old patterns and the forming of new ones. A new moon tells us to look within ourselves to make change. Add a solar eclipse on top of that and you’ve got a far more potent lunation.

Eclipses are known for causing crisis in their wake. They provoke unignorable events and bring about significant change, whether positive or negative. In this case, we may have gotten a bit of both.

Last Sunday’s eclipse brought a fuckup of massive proportions — easily one of the biggest on-air fiascos in Academy history — but it also gave us Moonlight’s unprecedented Best Picture win. The new moon in Pisces felt especially appropriate that night, signaling a dreamy new beginning and endless possibilities. A film about black, queer youth won the top honor at the Academy Awards — don’t let that fact be overshadowed by an envelope.

Pisces is a sign of great imagination, dreams, and compassion. A new moon and eclipse in this sign illuminates and challenges these ideals, and Moonlight’s Best Picture win should help us remember that. If this is a new beginning, let it be the beginning of a world where we celebrate beautiful films like Moonlight that tell stories other than white-person-overcomes-obstacle-and-finds-love-along-the-way. This lunar event is meant to remind us: we can do anything, but we can’t lose hope — and we can’t let someone else’s mistake get in the way of something truly great. ⭐️