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And the winner is, er, um, the Oscar goes to... The winner who won...


yanceycravat
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I'm not sure when The Academy decided to say "And the Oscar goes to.." instead of, "And the winner is..."

The thing is it's acceptable to say, he, she they, WON the Oscar... Does anyone or any obituary/article ever say they were "GIVEN" the Oscar? Not to my knowledge.

LA TIMES obit for Burt Lancaster... "The Academy Award he won for “Elmer Gantry” in 1960..."

THE GUARDIAN obit for Sidney Poitier... "was the first black actor to win an Oscar in a leading role..."

VANITY FAIR obit for William Hurt... "He won the Oscar..."

My point is this... Life is full of winners and losers. Oh, yeah, and semantics are dumb. Just say they won. They're adults. Not a kids game where everyone gets a prize.

And the World Series/Super Bowl/Stanley Cup goes to...

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Presenters began using the phrase "And the Oscar goes to..." at the 61st Academy Awards on March 29, 1989 -- the night  that "Rain Man" was named 1988's Best Picture . 

The change has never bothered me, but I should point out that that was the Oscars telecast produced by Allan Carr. It began with the infamous production number featuring Rob Lowe and Snow White -- a bigger sin, in my opinion. 

See the source image

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I never saw it as an attempt to take away the winner/loser perception, but dramatic, more susenseful way of saying it. It's a mystery until that very moment, and "The Oscar goes to..." does have a more "drumroll" ring to it, in my opinion. Even if it is an attempt to do that, nobody cares, because it does sound better. I don't know why they need to script that final phrase anyway. I think you're hung up less on the semantics that nobody cares about, and more on the thought that they changed it for the purpose you're assuming. I think I'd let that one go.

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6 hours ago, David Proulx said:

I think you're hung up less on the semantics that nobody cares about, and more on the thought that they changed it for the purpose you're assuming. I think I'd let that one go.

I don't think I'm assuming anything. I will agree that it sounds better since it gets the word Oscar in there. But as far as a drum roll same/same.

It just amuses me that people want to go with the idea that "there are no winners or losers" by saying, The Oscar goes to... but when spoken about outside that moment people either won the Oscar or they didn't.

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13 hours ago, jakeem said:

Presenters began using the phrase "And the Oscar goes to..." at the 61st Academy Awards on March 29, 1989 -- the night  that "Rain Man" was named 1988's Best Picture . 

The change has never bothered me, but I should point out that that was the Oscars telecast produced by Allan Carr. It began with the infamous production number featuring Rob Lowe and Snow White -- a bigger sin, in my opinion. 

 

What is strange that year is though that the presenter of the biggest award that night, Cher, reverted back to the old "winner is" connotation.

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19 hours ago, jakeem said:

...but I should point out that that was the Oscars telecast produced by Allan Carr. It began with the infamous production number featuring Rob Lowe and Snow White -- a bigger sin, in my opinion. 

Yeah, man, that was hideous.  😄

Regarding the "And the Oscar goes to..." stuff. Well, if you have a "winner", that implies "losers" and oh, we can't have that now, can we? Not in the everybody-gets-a-trophy era, no sir.  Mental gymnastics for the psychologically frail people of Hollywood.

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I wonder whether one impetus for the change may have been Dustin Hoffman's memorable "I refuse to believe that I 'beat' Jack Lemmon" Oscar acceptance speech nine years earlier (for Kramer vs. Kramer), voicing the same discomfort with the gladiatorial aspects of the awards as George C. Scott had when turning down his award for Patton.  Interesting that the change ultimately took effect the very year Hoffman won again for Rain Man.  

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30 minutes ago, Fausterlitz said:

I wonder whether one impetus for the change may have been Dustin Hoffman's memorable "I refuse to believe that I 'beat' Jack Lemmon" Oscar acceptance speech nine years earlier (for Kramer vs. Kramer), voicing the same discomfort with the gladiatorial aspects of the awards as George C. Scott had when turning down his award for Patton.  Interesting that the change ultimately took effect the very year Hoffman won again for Rain Man.  

Ah-HA! So it appears we have that little twerp HOFFMAN to blame for all of this, EH?!!!

;)

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8 hours ago, Dargo said:

Ah-HA! So it appears we have that little twerp HOFFMAN to blame for all of this, EH?!!!

Well, if I were of a conspiratorial frame of mind, I could imagine a scenario in which he had literally threatened to turn down his 1989 Oscar unless such a change were made.  But that seems highly unlikely, and I'm not aware of any historical evidence for it whatsoever.

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 I don't think any one person can be blamed for this silly change. Rather, it's a reflection of the softening of our society and the overtaking of PC rituals . How bizarre that one of the ultimate awards shows in our culture has become self-conscious and perhaps even ashamed of calling winners, winners. If that has become such a terrible thing, then why not just declare all nominees to be the "Top Five" or "Top Three" in the their designated category. Then, they can have all nominees (no, we'll have to find a different word for that. The word "nominees" implies that others were not nominated, and there can be no equality and inclusiveness in such a condition) come up on stage (in no particular order, of course) and look out at the audience while the host declares all umm participants to be perfectly equal in all respects, somehow working the terms "diversity" and "inclusiveness" into the declaration. And then, all present-  nomi- umm I mean participants, host and audience alike will be basked in the glow of complete superiority to the great unwashed, watching the royal proceedings from their modest hovels in fly-over country. "This," the Hollywood Elite shall be saying, "is how the world should be."

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They made the change because "And the winner is" had become - and, cultural critics please note, still is - a much overused phrase, heard in every type of contest that involves announcing a winner. 

And it was a long azz time ago. Why we even on this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, LuckyDan said:

They made the change because "And the winner is" had become - and, cultural critics please note, still is - a much overused phrase, heard in every type of contest that involves announcing a winner.

Calling a winner a winner is... overused?    😄

Again, to my point- Rather than playing silly PC word games (and that is what is going on), such as avoiding calling winners "winners" , the solution to this non-existent problem would be to eliminate winners altogether.  Everybody gets a trophy!

For heaven's sake, the Academy has recently implemented what is tantamount to a quota system.  They're insane.

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I get your point, Dan, but the Academy, rather than simply re-wording the phrase to something like "And the winner for the category of Best picture is...". They eliminated the word "winner".

Is the Academy so very special that they cannot be associated with the plain speaking of language in common use? Why did this matter at all, and to whom did it matter? Do you think that anyone witnessing the awards ceremony would have given it a second thought if the Academy was still saying "And the winner is..."?  They're so, so special, you see. They must be apart from everyone else. No one would have cared one single bit.

You and I will simply have to disagree on their motivations for this unnecessary change.

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24 minutes ago, unwatchable said:

I get your point, Dan, but the Academy, rather than simply re-wording the phrase to something like "And the winner for the category of Best picture is...". They eliminated the word "winner".

That's quite a mouthful aside from being redundant. We would have just heard the introductions of the presenters, and the category, immediately prior to the winner being named. 

24 minutes ago, unwatchable said:

Why did this matter at all, and to whom did it matter?

It mattered to Allan Carr who introduced the change in 1989, because "And the winner is" was - and is still - said by every award show in existence and at every crappy little workplace raffle. It's cliche. 

I don't say it was a good idea. I just don't chalk it up to Hollywood wokery as you seem to.

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3 minutes ago, LuckyDan said:

I don't say it was a good idea. I just don't chalk it up to Hollywood wokery as you seem to.

My opinion is that it is naive to think that what I've suggested didn't enter into the Academy's thinking when making this change. It's not as if it is a great leap in logic to suggest that just about everything Hollywood has done for several decades is tinged with preposterous PC thinking.

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I actually do recall reading somewhere that the change came from the belief( and I'll agree it was misguided) that after naming all the nominees, then pointing out that only ONE of them was a "winner" suggests the rest were all "losers"  and will feel worse than they already would feel in not being awarded the statuette.  But, IMHO, I don't think any actor or actress that didn't win the award they were nominated for ever felt like a "loser" in one respect, but just the disappointment of not receiving the award.  Much as I think the phraseology is stupid, I will acquiesce the move was "woke-ish".  :rolleyes:

Sepiatone

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Wasn't Allan Carr also the one who had two men or two women as the presenters for each category, rather than one man and one woman, as had been the custom? He wanted his Oscar show to be different, which it was, though not different as in better.

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12 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

That's quite a mouthful aside from being redundant. We would have just heard the introductions of the presenters, and the category, immediately prior to the winner being named. 

It mattered to Allan Carr who introduced the change in 1989, because "And the winner is" was - and is still - said by every award show in existence and at every crappy little workplace raffle. It's cliche. 

I don't say it was a good idea. I just don't chalk it up to Hollywood wokery as you seem to.

I agree, LuckyDan. I could be wrong, but I think there's alot of overthought going into this. Like you said, maybe the phrase just got tired. The change went by unnoticed by me, because I can't imagine anything less trivial. Anyway, as I earlier in an above comment, I think this has a better "drum roll" ring to it.

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4 hours ago, David Proulx said:

I agree, LuckyDan. I could be wrong, but I think there's alot of overthought going into this. Like you said, maybe the phrase just got tired. The change went by unnoticed by me, because I can't imagine anything less trivial. Anyway, as I earlier in an above comment, I think this has a better "drum roll" ring to it.

I spent a little time looking for contemporary reportage of the matter, but found only recollections of various people speaking years later. I can't find any archived reporting from someone speaking in 1989.

 What is remembered concerns the helium-voiced actress playing Snow White in the opening, the duet of "Proud Mary" she sang with Rob Lowe (John Fogarty probably didn't even like it and he got paid - we can assume), and how the whole debacle ended Allan Carr.

There are brief mentions of some changes Carr made that are still around, like the red carpet arrival segment, and "The Oscar goes to" announcement preface. Everybody who has an opinion on the change in verbiage says it was meant to take the sting out of losing, which I think we all agree makes no sense at all, but is still the overwhelming consensus among those who prefer it.  

I know I recall hearing someone at the time say the change was made to get away from the cliche line. I suppose it's possible that what I am remembering is simply my own best justification for it, but I don't think so.  I watched the broadcast in those days, out of a betting interest, so I would read and listen to commentary about the proceedings before and after.

It's also possible that originality was A reason for the change, but sparing feelings, or inclusiveness, is the reason for keeping it around.  They say, for instance, "outstanding performance* or "outstanding achievement in" a category instead of "best." When they run the In Memoriam montage they ask (or used to) that applause be held until the end, so that a dead person no one knows doesn't feel bad when we applaud a dead person we knew and loved.

Steve Martin said on one broadcast, about the change from "And the winner is" something like, because God forbid anyone get the impression this is a competition.

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And why bother sparing the feelings of people who otherwise keep saying things like, "I don't do this in hopes of getting any kind of award."  Or,  "Awards aren't really all that important or any indication of the quality of anyone's work." and that kind of crap?

Sepiatone

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9 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

When they run the In Memoriam montage they ask (or used to) that applause be held until the end, so that a dead person no one knows doesn't feel bad when we applaud a dead person we knew and loved.

Well that particular tradition I think does make some sense, because many of the people being honored in behind-the-scenes fields are not especially well known, and for some of them this may literally be their only lifetime moment of broad public acknowledgment.  So to have to "compete" for applause with more famous people at such a moment could only reinforce the impression that no one really cared about them, after all.  Which for a recent widow/widower could be rather disheartening.

But I can also see the counter-argument that the audience deserves an opportunity to show their appreciation for whichever individual artists they like, whether famous or not.  And it's not as though the less famous people don't already realize they're not famous.

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2 minutes ago, Fausterlitz said:

But I can also see the counter-argument that the audience deserves an opportunity to show their appreciation for whichever individual artists they like, whether famous or not.  And it's not as though the less famous people don't already realize they're not famous.

Well good then, because this. 

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1 minute ago, Fausterlitz said:

Well that particular tradition I think does make some sense, because many of the people being honored in behind-the-scenes fields are not especially well known, and for some of them this may literally be their only lifetime moment of broad public acknowledgment.  So to have to "compete" for applause with more famous people at such a moment could only reinforce the impression that no one really cared about them, after all.  Which for a recent widow/widower could be rather disheartening.

But I can also see the counter-argument that the audience deserves an opportunity to show their appreciation for whichever individual artists they like, whether famous or not.  And it's not as though the less famous people don't already realize they're not famous.

There's a solution to that problem, at least for the broadcast.   Instead of a live act singing and/or playing on stage, use a pre-recorded track to play under the tribute.  Cut off the house microphone feeds to the TV audience.  At least the broadcast wouldn't be affected by the applause.   There's no way to keep people in the theater from responding.

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