Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Story of Frances McDormand's Stolen Oscar

Frances McDormand
There's no denying that one of the big moments of this year's Academy Awards ceremony was when Frances McDormand won Best Actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It wasn't just that she had given a great performance, but her speech capped off a year of Hollywood being obsessed with equality. It featured such memorable moments as her asking female filmmakers in the audience to stand, and later the inclusion of the phrase "inclusion rider." But it wasn't the end of her Oscar story. It was briefly stolen after the ceremony, which proved to be a briefly harrowing situation.

It started when a photographer for Wolfgang Puck noticed the presence of Terry Bryant Jr., who possessed an Oscar at an after party. He claimed that he won as a producer, which sent the photographer into a curious frenzy. He didn't recognize Bryant as any winner, so he took a picture and immediately sought the police. He wasn't able to get Bryant into custody following the picture, but thankfully through social media the word got out and Bryant was inevitably caught.

It turns out that The Oscar was returned to its owner, McDormand. It's a story that lead to man Three Billboards gags, including most popularly "Stolen Oscar, And yet no arrests?, How come Chief Willoughby?" which parodied the message of the titular billboards. Despite this joke, Bryant was taken into custody for grand theft and a bail of $2000. It was later discovered that Bryant had a notorious history of borrowing other peoples' Oscars and posing for pictures. It just turns out that somebody noticed that he was out of place. How lucky it was to be caught within hours.

To some extent, this does rate high in terms of post-Oscar shenanigans. McDormand's stolen Oscar wasn't the first case of missing statues. However, there is another more innocent story to remember. When Meryl Streep won Best Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer, she almost left it in the bathroom. It's one of those stories that has become rooted in Oscar folklore. McDormand's story is likely to become something of legend in time. For now, let's be thankful that things didn't get much worse, or she would probably have burned down the police station, again. 

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