The pandemic Oscars have been pretty weird. Produced in part by Steven Soderbergh, it’s envisioned a new, probably one-time-only way to handle a ceremony in the midst of a once-in-a-century public health crisis. There’ve been roaming cameras and CinemaScope framing and lots of talking and almost no clips. But perhaps the weirdest thing about the 2021 Academy Awards didn’t happen on air. It was a tweet from a politician.
Excited to be watching the Oscars with an ice cold plant-based beer.
Thanks Joe Biden. pic.twitter.com/Wk8MQnjkUf
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 26, 2021
Chuck Schumer, the newish Senate Majority Leader, decided to weigh in on Hollywood’s big night. He didn’t, say, congratulate Nomadland‘s Chloe Zhao for being only the second woman to ever win Best Director, or say that the documentary Time got robbed. Instead he posted a very dense, loaded picture of him a) sitting about two feet from a TV screen while b) sitting in what looks like a pretty uncomfortable wooden chair and c) nursing what he called an “ice cold plant-based beer.” He then thanked Joe Biden. For what exactly? It’s a mystery.
This year’s Oscars are weird not only because the format is radically different. It’s also weird because few of the nominated films garnered much widespread attention. So when Schumer posted his bizarre tweet about halfway through the show, plenty of people pounced on it.
Some questioned the “plant-based beer” remark — which may have been a subtle trolling of former Trump staffer Larry Kudlow, who recently ranted about how Biden was going to make everyone guzzle beer from plants (aka beer).
Idk about y'all but I prefer meat-based beer https://t.co/GHprC4rRrC
— LacyBelle (@LacyBelle827) April 26, 2021
I did honestly just think for a second, is there meat in beer?
So, that’s how I’m doing! https://t.co/uPRFfvgxuo
— Emerson Collins (@ActuallyEmerson) April 26, 2021
Some were weirded out by the awkward way he held the bottle.
politicians holding beer bottles while watching tv like they have done it before even one time challenge https://t.co/E4NrZHMs1l
— vibes consultant for fortune 100 companies (@ChrisCaesar) April 26, 2021
Others criticized his close proximity to the TV.
Glasses and still sitting 3 feet away from the screen https://t.co/sEGHSK2gih
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) April 26, 2021
Is that how he watches tv https://t.co/4nk6T2zjKi
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) April 26, 2021
gonna kill your eyes sitting that close to the screen dude https://t.co/nYDRDEE86s
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) April 26, 2021
Chuck, you’re too close to the tv. https://t.co/fu2WVMPpaz
— Naveed Jamali (@NaveedAJamali) April 26, 2021
And there were those who thought everything about it was strange.
everything about this tweet is so fucking weird lol https://t.co/h5A44uXheJ
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) April 26, 2021
wtf is this?
Why is he sitting so close to the tv?
Why is he holding his drink like that?
Why did he say "plant-based beer"?
Why did he thank Joe Biden?
wtf is this. wtf is happening? https://t.co/K4VtKkAK40
— The Partyman (@PartymanRandy) April 26, 2021
There were other jokes, too.
this is what I will tweet if i’m ever kidnapped fyi https://t.co/X2cNIipIxW
— Jessica O’Donnell (@heckyessica) April 26, 2021
And there were people who found this to be the most entertaining part of a pretty chatty show.