Ageist Jokes About Warren Beatty Messing Up The Best Picture Winner Are Not OK For More Than One Reason
The 2017 Oscars had an explosive finale when it was discovered that La La Land, which had been announced as the winner of Best Picture, had actually lost to Moonlight. In the wake of the mix-up, many Twitter users found the opportunity to mock Warren Beatty's age as the reason the switch occurred. Not only does Beatty's age have nothing to do with the error (also, he didn't read the card aloud, Faye Dunaway did), but mocking his age is contributing to a major problem in our culture — ageism.
The card itself was wrong, not Beatty nor Dunaway's interpretation of it. They had been handed the card for Best Actress, not Best Picture, and as of now, it seems like they're totally innocent. Still, jokes about Beatty's age persisted and they're not OK. Take one look at the social media platform and you'll see what I'm talking about. I won't embed them here.
Let's be honest: Twitter users as a whole tend not to be restrictive of what they make fun of, but jokes targeting Beatty's age completely miss the point of what happened and end up marginalizing a portion of the population that already has to feel the effects of institutional ageism every day.
Making fun of Beatty for his age isn't joking — it's bullying.
The Oscar mix-up is 100 percent shocking. It was a ridiculous mistake that caused a lot of confusion and poked a hole in the usually pristine image of the Academy. But jokes about Beatty's age only serve to harm others, making a joke at their expense.
So, let's leave age out of it.