When Daily Variety broke the story on Tuesday that 4,000 Academy Award ballots were missing, the first question everyone in Hollywood asked was: How could this happen? The second question was: Since we’re dealing with the United States Postal Service, why doesn’t this happen more often?
After the Academy delivered eight bags to the Beverly Hills Post Office, the ballots disappeared; when that news broke, Hollywood-ites immediately came up with several guesses about who took them. The most prevalent theories:
- The ballots were destroyed by mail carriers still bitter over the Academy ignoring Kevin Costner’s “The Postman.”
- Sharon Stone wanted to copy down the 4,000 addresses, so she could send watches to the voters.
- The ballots are being held hostage by a group of terrorist choreographers, who are demanding that the Zanucks reinstate dance numbers in the Oscarcast.
- Unable to shake the character of his latest film, Jim Carrey hijacked the mail sacks: How the Grinch Stole Oscar.
- The ballots were hidden by execs at Miramax, DreamWorks and Disney, because they’re enjoying the Oscar campaign season so much that they want to prolong it.
While it may be a while before showbizzers eventually find out what happened, it is clear that (no matter who the culprit) some things are inevitable:
- Oscar host Billy Crystal will make at least three jokes about the missing ballots.
- At least one winner will exult, “I hope they counted the right ballots!”
- Fans of Oscar conspiracy theories — who have kept alive the rumor that Marisa Tomei actually didn’t win the Oscar — will for decades perpetuate rumors that the eventual winners are not the real winners.