Hollywood lore is full of weird legends, and its award ceremonies often bear the brunt of them. On a nearly constant basis, for example, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has faced accusations of corruption, bias and even prejudice. And given some of the ludicrous choices it’s made in the past, it’s hard not to think that something shady is going on behind the scenes.
However, for every plausible rumor in existence about the Academy and its fellow awards organizers, there’s an equally strange conspiracy waiting in the wings. Indeed, these 20 theories stretch fact and believability to their very limits.
20. No love for Lincoln
After seeing 2012 Best Picture nominee Lincoln, congressman Joe Courtney wrote to director Steven Spielberg, disapproving of its supposed inaccuracies. However, commentators alleged that the letter attempted to discredit Lincoln to Oscar voters in favor of eventual winner Argo, directed by Courtney’s friend Ben Affleck. But that was an assertion that the congressman would go on to deny. “I’m not smart enough to know when Oscar voting begins,” Courtney joked to the Los Angeles Times in 2013.
19. An illuminating award ceremony
The Illuminati has been a cornerstone of conspiracy theorists everywhere, and the 85th Academy Awards was allegedly awash with links to the shadowy organization. Following the 2013 ceremony, in fact, YouTubers like AlienContactee and ilbcnya99 uploaded videos detailing their “proof” of the group’s influence on proceedings. And that included actor Daniel Day-Lewis’ reference to a “human pyramid” in his acceptance speech. Apparently, it’s thought that Illuminati members use the pyramid symbol to secretly communicate between themselves.