Oscars fail: Trump has the last laugh

Brian Cullinan, upper right, of PricewaterhouseCoopers confers on stage after best picture was mistakenly awarded to “La La Land” instead of “Moonlight”. “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz, left, holds the correct envelope for best picture. (Reuters)
Updated 01 March 2017

Oscars fail: Trump has the last laugh

LOS ANGELES: President Donald Trump said Monday the chaos that erupted at the end of the Oscars was due to Hollywood obsessing about him rather than concentrating on running a smooth show.
In an Oval Office interview with conservative website Breitbart News, Trump said Oscars organizers had taken their eyes off the ball because they “were focused so hard on politics.”
“It was a little sad. It took away from the glamor of the Oscars,” he told the site, which was previously managed by Steve Bannon, who now serves as Trump’s chief White House strategist.
“It didn’t feel like a very glamorous evening. I’ve been to the Oscars. There was something very special missing, and then to end that way was sad.”
Trump’s comments came after Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty mistakenly presented the best picture statuette at the climax of the ceremony to “La La Land,” when “Moonlight” was the real winner.
With the dust settling on the controversy, the finger of blame has settled on PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partner Brian Cullinan, who was responsible, along with colleague Martha Ruiz, for ensuring that each awards presenter was handed the correct envelope.
Cullinan pulled the envelope that was supposed to be for best picture winner from the wrong pile, the company said.
“He is very upset about this mistake. And it is also my mistake, our mistake and we all feel very bad,” said Tim Ryan, PwC’s US chairman, according to trade magazine Variety.
Trump had been the target of light-hearted jokes and serious derision throughout the night as Oscar-winners railed against his immigration policies.
Trump does not explain in the interview why he thinks the jokes at his expense led to the unrelated error, and it is unclear if he watched the show.
Breitbart said the mixup came after what it called “hours of Trump-bashing by the Hollywood elites.”
“Now, the president has got the last laugh as he hammers Hollywood for its epic fail,” it added.


Israeli jeweler makes $1.5m gold coronavirus mask

Updated 11 August 2020

Israeli jeweler makes $1.5m gold coronavirus mask

  • The 18-karat white gold mask will be decorated with 3,600 white and black diamonds
  • The Israeli company says it will be the world’s most expensive coronavirus mask

MOTZA: An Israeli jewelry company is working on what it says will be the world’s most expensive coronavirus mask, a gold, diamond-encrusted face covering with a price tag of $1.5 million.

The 18-karat white gold mask will be decorated with 3,600 white and black diamonds and fitted with top-rated N99 filters at the request of the buyer, said designer Isaac Levy.

Levy, owner of the Yvel company, said the buyer had two other demands: that it be completed by the end of the year, and that it would be the priciest in the world. That last condition, he said, “was the easiest to fulfill.”

He declined to identify the buyer, but said he was a Chinese businessman living in the United States.

The glitzed-up face mask may lend some pizzazz to the protective gear now mandatory in public spaces in many countries. But at 270 grams (over half a pound) — nearly 100 times that of a typical surgical mask — it is not likely to be a practical accessory to wear.

n an interview at his factory near Jerusalem, Levy showed off several pieces of the mask, covered in diamonds. One gold plate had a hole for the filter.

“Money maybe doesn’t buy everything, but if it can buy a very expensive COVID-19 mask and the guy wants to wear it and walk around and get the attention, he should be happy with that,” Levy said.

Such an ostentatious mask might also rub some the wrong way at a time when millions of people around the world are out of work or suffering economically. Levy said that while he would not wear it himself, he was thankful for the opportunity.

“I am happy that this mask gave us enough work for our employees to be able to provide their jobs in very challenging times like these times right now,” he said.