I remember thinking about my kids and what I was going to tell them in the morning. They’d been in bed for hours by then, like most people, and I thought, “Can’t they just go on sleeping? Do they have to wake up to this? Can’t they stay innocent just a little longer?” But I knew they couldn’t, that I’d have to explain to them that a frothy retro-musical had briefly reached the pinnacle, shining like a light of pure primary-color pleasure, only to be dashed to earth. Though I hear Moonlight is quite good.
– Martha M., West Warwick, RI
I was in my cab, waiting for a fare. It’s like 2 a.m. by now. I got CDs going so I don’t hear the news, and it’s just your average night, not too many whack jobs. This couple hales me over and gets in. I get the directions, and I notice pretty quick that something’s not right. They’re too quiet. Like they’re in shock or something. “Nice night,” I say. And they go, “Haven’t you heard?” And they tell me what happened. Now, I’m a black man, though I haven’t seen Moonlight yet – I hear it’s real good – so I’m happy, you know? But at the same time I’m thinking: How could this happen? In 2017? These poor white people. These poor people who have been defending the racial and sexual condescension of La La Land for months. “But the chemistry between Ryan and Emma…!” To have that moment and then to have it taken away like that. I felt so sad for them. I let that couple ride for free that night.
– Garrett K., New York, NY
I’ll never forget the look on Warren Beatty’s face. It was a look that said, “Our dreams died tonight,” though really it was almost tomorrow by that point. “Our dreams died tomorrow.” Yeah. I PVRed it, and I can’t stop watching it. It haunts me.
– Sarah V., Shrewsbury, MA
By the end of the broadcast, I was flipping back and forth between the Oscars and the Clippers/Hornets game, which was going into overtime. I didn’t think I could sit through another uncomfortable speech like Casey Affleck’s, so when I saw the La La Land crew jump out of their seats, I switched over to the game permanently. Then I went to bed. As long as I live, I’ll never get over the fact that while I was watching a meaningless sporting event, that was going on. It’s incredible. But the Clippers won, so that was good.
– Russell S., Oak Creek, WI
It’s funny what comes to mind in a moment like that. By this point I’d become essentially numb to the whole thing. Kimmel didn’t seem impish anymore, just secretly nasty, you know what I mean? Anyway, I wasn’t really feeling anything, not even when they announced La La Land, which was a delight, by the way. But when they announced Moonlight, which I have not seen, I was filled with this sudden rage. And I flashed back to when I was 12 years old and Star Wars lost out to Annie Hall for Best Picture and how utterly unfair and… and corrupt that was. In a way, I’m grateful. I must have been holding that in for a long time.
– Alex T., Maryville, TN
I found myself crying. I can’t explain it. I called my mom, because I knew she’d be up, I knew she’d be watching. And she was crying too. We couldn’t believe it. It was like I had to confirm it with someone else. It was good to have that support, knowing that other people were going through the same thing. “Have you seen Moonlight?” I asked her. “No,” she said. “But we should definitely see it.” “Yeah,” I said. “Definitely.” But we’ll probably go see Hidden Figures. It looks nicer.
– Mary L., Teaneck, NJ