Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, film icons from an era past, stood on the stage with ease and grace. Aging has worked well for both of them. They were announcing the best film of the year. Beatty was fiddling with the envelope and for a moment it appeared as if he was having a senior moment.
Men in tuxes and women in gowns made their way excitedly to pick up the gold trophy that would ensure more buzz for them for years to come.
The long evening was finally over and those in L.A. could party and the rest of us could go to sleep.
And yet, like any good drama, there is often a quick shift at the end to keep you entranced with those final moments.
Suddenly from out of nowhere came the thunder of a voice saying, "No, not La La Land. It's Moonlight!"
A joke? An imposter? And then came a few minutes of pandemonium.
It was simply a mistake.
How did it happen? Two seasoned veterans of the screen were there being charming and appropriate. The La La Land producers were giving triumphant speeches, aglow with success. Before they were quickly whisked off stage, Jordan Horowitz, (La La Land producer) said a variation of "Nope, not us folks. It's Moonlight." The Academy Award show gave a great example of doing instant damage control.
Warren Beatty, with great calmness and stature said what had happened and why he took a few extra moments to speak out the winning film.
They even showed the card, the private card that Price Water House Coopers had kept hidden for many days.
Price Water House Coopers sent out an apology. Yes, it was a mistake. They took full responsibility.
We, at the core are all fallible human beings and we all make mistakes.
Once the mistake is visible it's time to be accountable, that very vital word in the business world, actually in all life relationships.
My question, will someone be fired? Is this the only way to handle mistakes? What is best way to handle the backlash?
I'd love to hear your comments. This is a real-life case study that needs lots of input as we move forward in our world that requires faster and faster response time to issues that we face every day.