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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Cabaero: It happens

AN accident or a mistake can happen anytime but you don’t expect to see it on live television with worldwide viewers awaiting in suspense the decision.

It happens or, as some would say, s___t happens. It did during the 2015 Miss Universe pageant when host Steve Harvey announced Miss Colombia as winner instead of Miss Philippines. It happened again Monday during an onstage blunder in the announcement of Best Picture in the Academy Awards. The movie “La La Land” was announced as winner, producers and the cast were on stage saying their thanks, then the correct envelope was shown naming “Moonlight” as the winner.

The blunder reminded everyone of Harvey’s Miss Universe gaffe. “Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this,” Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel said. Social media erupted in disbelief and the usual sarcastic commentary. The Twitter account of Miss Universe posted this tweet, “Have your people call our people--we know what to do. #Oscars #MissUniverse”

It may seem funny but the Miss Universe tweet was good advice. Organizers of the Miss Universe pageant held in the Philippines last month handled well the announcement of winners. They made fun of Harvey, but they made sure he wouldn’t get it wrong.

The difference between the Miss Universe and Oscars blunders was that Harvey clearly and immediately owned his mistake on stage and on social media, and pageant officials took an effort to clear things up in a matter of minutes or a few hours. It was not clear right away who was to blame for the Oscars mix-up. Award presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway or the one who gave them the wrong envelope? The PricewaterhouseCoopers, accounting firm that managed the vote count, apologized for the mistake hours later and said it was investigating how it happened.

After these two embarrassing incidents, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see changes in the formats of these shows. Awards ceremonies may not be aired live anymore or may have a few seconds of delay to allow an extra pair of eyes to check the result before it is announced.

Whatever correction they make to prevent a repetition of the mix-up, the Oscars ceremony in 2018 would be interesting viewing not only for the selection of top movies but also for what organizers would do to redeem themselves.

•••

How many jeepney units would be phased out in Metro Cebu by the new Department of Transportation ruling? Would additional restrictions on operators mean fewer jeepneys?

Jeepney operators and drivers staged protest actions to oppose rules to phase out jeepneys 15 years or older, and to require operators to have a capitalization of P7 million and have a minimum of 10 units per franchise. Protesters said these would limit their ability to earn.

For the public to make a stand, Transportation officials need to show to commuters, not only to operators and drivers, the consequence of the new rules. The strike Monday inconvenienced commuters. For drivers to gain sympathy or for government to get public support, let commuters know the benefits to them.
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