On February 3, 2020, six days before the 92nd Annual Academy Awards air on ABC, the Academy’s official Twitter promoted something intriguing: A method to display your very own Oscar predictions through their Twitter account, resulting in a handsomely designed chart using the official Academy font and logo. What a fun way to make an impression at your office Oscars betting pool, right? Until, later that night, the Academy’s official Twitter tweeted something else: Their own prediction chart, completely unadorned of any context. Wait, what? Did someone at the Academy go rogue? Are they predicting their own awards, too? Did they just literally say who was going to win the 2020 Academy Awards?
The Academy has since deleted this tweet in question, but we have it screenshotted for prosperity right here. And it does indeed look like @TheAcademy is straight up saying Parasite is gonna take Best Picture — which would, y’know, take some suspense out of the broadcast ceremony. This resulted in all kinds of Twitter meltdowns from film fans, who commented the hell out of that tweet asking what on earth was going on (and posting some pretty dank memes). Eventually, the Academy itself weight in with the truth. And the truth is… a lot less conspiratorial.
The first attempt at crowd control came from a hasty retweet of one Kris Tapley, a host of the Netflix podcast The Call Sheet. His attempt at keeping the peace was succinct: “Everyone chill, it’s a predictions app!” Until the Academy put out an official word on what was going on, this Tapley report would have to do — except that it totally didn’t, with many folks commenting on his tweet with words of suspicion and non-understanding.
Finally, after deleting their now-controversial tweet of predictions, the Academy made an official, emoji-filled statement:
So, there you go. It boiled down to an in-app issue involving some crossed wires with Twitter — after filling out the form, it’s supposed to tweet through the user’s account. But, instead, it accidentally tweeted through the Academy’s account. Now, folks are using the feature properly, resulting in correctly formatted-and-tweeted predictions for everyone. All’s well that ends well — unless this is all part of the coverup! (It probably isn’t)
Think you know who will take home an Oscar this year? Make your #Oscars predictions and tune in Sunday, Feb. 9 to see how you did!
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 3, 2020