The Academy is facing backlash and being accused of building Sunday night's Oscars ceremony around the late Chadwick Boseman and betting on him to win, only for the end of the show to fall into chaos when Anthony Hopkins won instead.
It's been a tradition since 1940 that the final category presented at the Oscars every year is Best Picture, with it widely being regarded as the biggest award of the night.
When it became apparent that the Best Actor category would be the final award of the night, many thought that this would be an emotional and heartfelt nod to Chadwick Boseman, who was nominated for the first time.
However, in what looked like a bet gone very wrong, people were left stunned when the award was eventually given to Anthony Hopkins for his role in The Father.
To make matters all the more awkward, Hopkins wasn't present to accept the award, meaning presenter Joaquin Phoenix accepted it on his behalf before the show then ended abruptly.
In a video posted on social media the morning after the show, Hopkins thanked the Academy and paid his respects to Boseman.
"At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award — I really didn't," Hopkins said. "I'm very grateful to the Academy, and thank you. And I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early."
Considering the awards had been rejigged in order for Best Actor to come last, it seemed that the producers of the show had potentially pinned their hopes and bets on Boseman winning, only for it to backfire, and people weren't happy.
Critics accused the Oscars of "[building] the entire show" around Boseman.
And many described the final moments of the night as awkward and chaotic.
People were also quick to point out that they weren't upset with Hopkins winning, but with the Academy for shuffling the order of the categories and seemingly setting up Boseman for the win.
The climax of the 2021 Oscars was maybe proof of one thing — that the crew working behind the camera really aren't privy to the upcoming results and who's won what before the envelope itself is opened on stage.
In an interview on Monday with Variety, top ABC/Disney producer Rob Mills confirmed they had made a bet on Boseman winning and were just as stunned as the rest of us when that turned out to not be the case.
But Mills said it all the categories were mixed up to try to keep things fresh.
"It was not meant to end on somebody who was not present,” Mills conceded. “It was a calculated risk, that I think still paid off because everybody was talking about it."
Correction: Presenter Joaquin Phoenix accepted the award on Anthony Hopkins' behalf. The winning actor's video speech was not shared on social media until Monday morning. A previous version of this story misstated this timeline.