When Debby Boone performed her uber-creepy 1977 hit “You Light Up My Life,” she was courteous enough to have eleven deaf students sign the words for any of the 1978 Oscar audience that may be hearing impaired. Truly a magnanimous gesture. Only the kids weren’t deaf. And what they were signing was complete gibberish. Hmm. That’s hard to weasel your way out of.
Personally, I think it’s more of a controversy that song was nominated anything except the Mrs. Buttersworth Lifetime Achievement in Sap Award, but I don’t have any deaf kids, so I’ll step off.
Last year’s Oscars offered a stupid little mini-controversy in the question of whether or not to honor an invitation to street artist Banksy, as he directed the nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop (which is amazingly interesting and entertaining if you haven’t seen it). The big problem here was that Banksy’s ability to succeed as a street artist was directly correlated to the amount of anonymity he had, so speculation ran amok that he would wear his signature monkey mask or hire a team of impersonators a la Thomas Crown to accept his award.
All the worrying was for naught, as Exit lost to the depressing yet artful and topical Restrepo. Banksy lost the award but maintained his anonymity.