The Top Moments of the Oscars 2017 on Social Media Entertainment

By Gemma Joyce on February 27th 2017

The Oscars on social media: A night to remember, but not necessarily for the right reasons.

The Brandwatch React team tracked over 3.7m Oscars-related posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as the ceremony was aired live on Sunday.

A chaotic finish

Those who tuned in won’t be surprised to learn that the largest chunks of that conversation occurred towards the end.

The moment everyone was talking about was the Best Picture blunder which saw the wrong envelope being handed to Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, who announced that La La Land had won Best Picture. As celebrations commenced, it was then announced that there had been a mistake and that Moonlight was actually Best Picture.

Cue 61,000 mentions in a single minute.

oscars 2017 on social media

At the peaking minute of any awards ceremony, organizers really don’t want the top-mentioned words to look like this.

oscars 2017 on social media

It was all going so swimmingly, and then BAM!

Overall, La La Land got slightly more mentions than Moonlight throughout the ceremony. They were followed by Hidden Figures.

oscars 2017 on social media

Notable speeches

There were a number of moments that caught social’s attention, aside from the last-minute blunder.

Viola Davis, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fences, gave a powerful speech that saw thousands of mentions in a single minute. The line “I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life” was quoted heavily on social media.

Another notable moment that saw a large mention spike was Gael García Bernal’s mini-speech against Donald Trump, performed as he appeared on stage to present an award.

Speaking of politics…

The ability of the words “Donald Trump” to slip into any article, event or conversation, no matter how unrelated to politics, know no bounds. There’s no escape; and the top hashtags surrounding the Oscars fell victim last night.

oscars 2017 on social media

Saying that, it wasn’t exactly unexpected for the new President to get the odd mention. 2017’s biggest award ceremonies have been peppered with political speeches, with Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes acceptance speech the most poignant example we have captured in social data.

Best Actor/Actress

The team monitored mentions of the nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress throughout the ceremony, finding (expectedly) that the winners took the majority of the share of voice.

oscars 2017 on social mediaoscars 2017 on social media

Before the results were announced these charts looked very different. Emma Stone and Meryl Streep appeared to be in a tighter race, while Casey Affleck had hardly any mentions compared to Ryan Gosling and Denzel Washington.

Affleck’s winning moment didn’t garner quite the same number of mentions as Emma Stone’s did, and not everyone was celebrating his win. “Sexual assault” was a trending topic in the conversation as his award was announced, with many pointing out the fact that he has been accused of sexual harassment in the past. The award was presented by Brie Larson, who won an Oscar in 2016 for her powerful portrayal of a sexual assault survivor in Room. People weren’t happy.


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Gemma Joyce


Gemma is the social data journalist heading up Brandwatch React. As well as being first with the current affairs data, Gemma loves pizza, politics, and long reads. Her work has been featured in publications like Financial Times, Wired, Business Insider, and PR Week. Get in touch at