Over the weekend, Spike Lee stunned Cannes when he accidentally announced the Palme d’Or Winner early, but he has since acknowledged his blunder. Awards shows are stacked with talented individuals. Multi-millionaires who have devoted hours to their craft come together for an evening of recognition and fun. Event organizers pour in countless hours of preparation to ensure the event runs smoothly. And still, despite all the hard work and prep time, things can go wrong and the unexpected will happen. This can leave those affected embarrassed, outraged, or simply humiliated.
Spike Lee is the latest celebrity to join the blooper reel, this time at the Cannes Film Festival. The Cannes Film Festival is a prestigious event held annually that previews new films of all genres. The 12 day festival ends by giving out awards in a variety of categories, with the most prestigious award being the Palm d’or ( The Golden Palm) for best film.
Spike Lee, who has multiple producing and acting film credits to his name, was a member of the jury at this year’s festival. During the show, he was asked to reveal what the prize would be for the Palm d’Or winner. (The winner itself was to be announced later in the show). Spike stood up and announced that the winner of the Palm d’Or was Titane. The announcement was met with embarrassment from Lee’s fellow jurors upon realization what he had done. Everyone, including the audience, was able to laugh off the incident, but it still left Lee humiliated with what he had done.
“No excuses, I messed up. I’m a big sports fan. It’s like the guy at the end of the game in the foul line, he misses the free throw, or a guy misses a kick… I messed up, simple as that.”
Lee apologized to members of the festival, and also the recipients of the award, and the incident was easily forgiven. With the pandemic stretching on for over a year now, award shows were put on hold or presented in different formats, so award show blunders have been down in recent history. Lee’s incident is certainly not the most embarrassing mishap to occur in the last 10 years
The most awkward ending to a Pageant occurred in 2015 during the Miss Universe Pageant. At the end of the show, Miss Columbia was wearing the crown and celebrating her victory when host Steve Harvey came back on stage and announced that Miss Columbia was the first runner-up, and that Miss Philippines was in-fact the winner.
The 2017 Academy Awards also had a blunder of epic proportions as Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were announcing the winner of the Best Picture category. Beatty and Dunaway were given the wrong card, and presented the award for best picture to, Lalaland.When the cast and executives came on stage, they were the ones to realize the mistake, and instead announced that Moonlight had in-fact won the award ,and called them up on stage. Event host Jimmy Kimmel also came on stage at that time saying, “I blame Steve Harvey for this”, referencing the 2015 Miss Universe blunder.
Spike Lee’s Cannes blunder is just the latest reminder that even in a room with that much talent and with an incredible amount of preparation, mistakes still happen. At least he got the winner correct.