LOS ANGELES — Jean Dujardin, the star of the Oscar-winning silent film The Artist, committed a career-crippling faux pas on Sunday night when he spoke while accepting his Academy Award.
The audience at the ceremony watched in shock as the supposed Frenchman bellowed his acceptance speech and proclaimed his JOIE DE VIVRE! to the very rafters of the Kodak Theater in what can only be described as a Brooklyn accent. A mortified Natalie Portman shrunk behind the back of the 8ft tall Oscar statuette on stage left—viewers were disappointed when she did not later re-emerge as the black swan to frighten her Best Actress successor—and outside, Ryan Seacrest screamed girlishly. (Seacrest later argued that he thought the offensive sound had come from the ghost of the dead dictator whose ashes Sasha Baron Cohen had dumped on him earlier in the evening, Seacrest was still in the process of removing the ashes particle-by-particle from his Henry Ford tuxedo when the spectacle transpired.)
It seems that actually speaking may prove a career-ending mistake for the formerly promising and questionably French actor. “I was just expecting his voice to be a little more like a Parisian James Earl Jones and a little less like Fran Drescher,” said Melissa McCarthy, who’d been stiffed earlier in the evening for her drastically underappreciated performance in Bridesmaids.
Other audience members found the actor’s voice too caustic to even continue listening and left the theater. “Now someone else will know how this feels,” yelled Tree of Life director Terrence Malick as he flung-wide the theater doors and burst on to Hollywood Boulevard.
Given the widespread disapproval of the entertainment community, the Academy made the decision to retract Mr. Dujardin’s award early Monday morning and instead present it to George Clooney. “Our first thought was to just give it to Meryl Streep,” a spokesperson told Flipside, “but we figured two in one year might be pushing it.”
Most upset about the event was former Oscar winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, 2010), who was so shocked by Dujardin’s decision to talk that he st-st-stuttered through his presenter’s monologue.