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And the Academy Goes To... Controversy

By Korryn

Getting nominated is a pinnacle moment for movie stars: it’s what they’ve put their blood, sweat, and tears into. It’s the moment when their careers begin to mean more than merely entertaining us but rather start to showcase an exquisite artform that moved millions. We’re talking about the Oscars.

Every actor, or so I assume, has had a dream where they’re holding the gold man and thanking everyone who got them to this point. However, often times the ceremony doesn’t happen without controversy. From a PR standpoint, the Oscars can help launch an actor into a whole new playing field or controversy can overshadow the wins. Need examples?

Well, for example, in 2017 when La La Land was mistakenly announced as Best Picture that’s mainly what people remember. When you think about it, you can probably remember who really won (Moonlight), but more likely than not you remember the La La Land cast making their way to the stage before their award was taken away from them and then the ordeal that followed after that. It’s all the media talked about.

Also, in 2017, the Academy got in trouble because of the lack of women nominated, prompting the #OscarsSoMale hashtag. Let’s go back a year before to 2016 where you don’t remember who won at all, but you do remember the #OscarsSoWhite controversy because of the lack of diversity of race within the Academy’s nominations and audience. This sparked outrage on Twitter and other platforms from celebrities of color who weren’t nominated for outstanding performances.

Now, in 2018, the Oscars seem to be taking a hit from the sexual assault scandals that have been hitting some of Hollywood’s most famous men. Previous favorite contender an Academy Award this year would’ve been James Franco, but after his Golden Globes win he had five women accused him of inappropriate behavior. After that, he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. With the massive abuse caused by Harvey Weinstein and the alarming number of men and women that came out against him and other ex-Hollywood favorite Kevin Spacey, the #MeToo movement is likely to be shown in full force during the ceremony on Sunday.

Hollywood is no stranger to handling controversy, but you might be wondering how these celebrities are advised to speak to the media at high-profile events, which are sometimes surrounded by a fog of controversy.

Here are some tips on how to act during a controversy, provided by media guru Razonia McClellan:

1. First, one of the most important strategies to remember during crisis or controversy is…don’t lie. Just tell the truth and I mean the entire truth the first time. If you tell the truth there isn’t a story for reporters to dig up on day two, three, four, and so on. If you decide not to tell the truth and leave one detail untold, it will eventually come out and the controversy starts all over again.

2. Second, only make well thought out statements. Don’t make rash comments or say anything on camera, to a reporter, or on social media that you can’t take back. It’s simple, but yet rarely followed.

3. Third, learn when to stop talking. (This includes Tweeting, also!) People are often afraid of the uncomfortable silence so they keep talking. During controversy, this often leads to rambling and saying too much.

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