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OSCARS 2000 | Oscar Snafus

Show Indeed Goes On

March 27, 2000

If it were a movie, they'd call it "Missing."

First, the Academy Award ballots vanished in the mail, then someone stole the Oscar statuettes.

And the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences couldn't even blame Y2K.

It all began a few weeks ago, when the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers took eight mail sacks containing 4,200 blank Oscar ballots to the Beverly Hills post office for mailing to academy members throughout California. The ballots, however, were misrouted, prompting the academy to hurriedly send out another mass mailing, giving members an extra two days to fill them out and return them.

Then a shipment of 55 Oscar statuettes valued collectively at $18,000 that was being shipped from Chicago to Los Angeles disappeared from a Roadway Express loading dock in Bell.

In a plot twist worthy of "The Sixth Sense," a junk salvager named Willie Fulgear found 52 of the missing Oscars while rummaging in a dumpster behind a Koreatown market. For his reward, Fulgear was given a check for $50,000 by Roadway Express and was invited to the Academy Awards show. Meanwhile, police arrested a Roadway Express trucker in connection with the theft.

Naturally, these snafus led to a host of jokes at the Oscar telecast. Among them were host Billy Crystal's wondering "Who's in charge of security?" and a subsequent reference to Jack Nicholson, who he noted "has three Oscars, but so does some guy in Bell."

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