Whether you watched it or not, you’ve probably already heard about the only thing people are talking about today when it comes to the Oscars. It’s not who won Best Actor or how many statues La La Land took home. It’s how Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly called out the wrong winner for Best Picture. As the cast and crew of La La Land were mid-acceptance speech, someone ran out a declared that Moonlight had won Best Picture. Naturally chaos ensued. As actors, everyone covered it well on stage, but the fall out from this overwhelming misstep will be felt and talked about for some time.
And yet, there’s a beautiful lesson we can learn from this mistake. There’s no need to throw Beatty or Dunaway under the bus (one article was quick to mention that Beatty is a Trump supporter). Really? They made a mistake. And that’s the beautiful reminder. Hollywood is built on mystique and a mirage of perfection. We know Beatty and Dunaway from their movies, where we watched the finished product of multiple takes, edits, proper lighting, sound effects and a production team to scrub out any remaining imperfections. Hollywood prides itself on maintaining its aura of perfection. Last night that aura got a huge crack in it, but that’s okay. In fact, it gives hope to the rest of us.
Life doesn’t come with multiple takes, camera and lighting crew, special effects and a soundtrack. You get one take at life, and if you mess it up you deal with the consequences forevermore. Perfection as produced by Hollywood is a myth. We make mistakes, which means we’re not perfect, which means we need grace and forgiveness. The ideal for beauty and grace and perfection is not Hollywood but God. God is the one who forgives when we make mistakes. It’s God’s grace that overwhelms us in spite of our failures. Human perfection is a myth, a selling point. Grace and forgiveness is divine.
Warren Beatty, thank you for reminding us that you make mistakes like the rest of us. We all need forgiveness. We all need God’s grace.