Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
On March 8, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gathered the Los Angeles press for a very important announcement regarding this year’s Academy Awards: the star-studded pre-show space is being redesigned and taken in a creative new direction… by your coastal grandmother. Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel announced that, in a change in more than 60 years of history, the show’s red carpet would be ripped up. In its place, the organization has (literally) rolled out a brand new “Champagne” mat. And champagne, it turns out, is very similar to beige.
And it’s not even a particularly pleasant beige either. It looks like the Academy bought it from a Facebook Marketplace listing for “BRAND NEW Safavieh (little cat pee stain in corner)”. Creative consultant Lisa Love explained to The Associated Press why she made the change: “We chose this beautiful sienna and saffron color that evokes sunset, because it’s sunset before the sun sets. golden hour.” That’s a lot of words for beige. Sounds like something George Santos would say if he was a door-to-door carpet salesman. It’s not even beige but pale beige. Loving to invoke warm, rich tones like “hers” and “saffron” to describe this rug means she’s either (a) a liar or (b) the kind of person who, at some point in her life, uttered the phrase “This ranch is too spicy.”
Apparently the reason she and co-consultant Raúl Àvila opted for the rug rental fabric swatch likely called “Ecru Ennui” is that, this year, the carpet will be closed so that the photos look more like an evening event despite the arrivals at 3 p.m. They said they wanted to use a lighter shade to balance out the darker space. I suspect it’s actually because the To party The team landed the Oscar gig and accidentally put the mat in the wrong order. “I think the decision to go for a champagne carpet over a red carpet shows how confident we are that no blood will be shed,” Kimmel said. “It’s the kind of thing you only see in Hollywood…and every model home in America.”
If they really wanted to go for a touch of champagne, wouldn’t they have chosen something more iridescent, more golden and less “standard tote bag”? The Oscars are supposed to be a night for shameless, corny ostentation! Replacing the red carpet with this blank template is the visual equivalent of the Oscars undermining itself with self-deprecating jokes. Does everything have to be so boring and dreary? Is there no more room in this world for glamour? How many gleaming golden calves have to be crushed on the altar of minimalism before good, honest people come to their senses? Why pomp and circumstance? If the Oscars, of all events, are going to be Halloweentown 2: Kalabar’s Revenge-d, what hope is there for the rest of us?