When the 74th annual Golden Globes aired Sunday, Jan. 8, Black Twitter was left stunned after white Hollywood flubbed the name of “Hidden Figures,” not once but twice. Instead of calling the drama by its name, NBC journalist Jenna Bush Hager and actor Michael Keaton each called the film “Hidden Fences,” sending social media into a hilarious frenzy.
“Hidden Figures” stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as three real-life Black women who helped send astronaut John Glenn into space. But both Hager and Keaton fused the film’s name with another contender, “Fences,” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. The movie focuses on a 1950s working-class Black man who provides for his family while grappling with his life experiences and expectations.
Hager made the mistake ahead of the Globes while speaking to “Hidden Figures'” music creator Pharrell Williams on the red carpet.
“So, you’re nominated for “Hidden Fences, how cool is that?” the daughter of former President George W. Bush asked in part.
“you’re nominated for Hidden Fences” pic.twitter.com/7My6dtEkbG
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 9, 2017
Williams’ facial expression after Hager’s blunder was the subject of several reactionary tweets.
Dazzzit decoded the producer’s response with a GIF.
"You're nominated for hidden fences"
— Dazzzit (@_imnotyourmate) January 9, 2017
Activist and actor Jesse Williams also got in on the hilarity, referencing Kanye West.
— jesse Williams. (@iJesseWilliams) January 9, 2017
Meanwhile, Jay Dior suspected racism was at play.
Did she say HIDDEN FENCES?? She found the nearest nigger in site and just said fuck it, look at Pharrell face pic.twitter.com/tzto4wHdCp
— Jay Dior (@JayKenMinaj) January 9, 2017
Then, Michael Keaton made the same mistake while announcing the nominees for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.
— Bougie Black Girl (@BougieBlackGurl) January 9, 2017
The second error had Black Twitter fed up.
— ㅤanna (@bIingspice) January 9, 2017
Radio host Charlamange Tha God speculated that it was a teleprompter issue.
Michael Keaton was reading off a teleprompter so clearly somebody got it wrong in the prompter. Fix It. #HiddenFences
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) January 9, 2017
Charles thought Spencer and Williams needed to get ready to go to war over the repeated gaffe.
— Charles (@CharlesFromWork) January 9, 2017
Still, others saw the issue as more serious.
The #HiddenFences incident is more than an innocent mistake. It's a lack of research or care for black cinema.
— Mariah Hickman (@_MariahHickman) January 9, 2017
Additionally, Twitter launched #GoldenGlobeErrors to humorously showcase the fusion of Black film titles by white celebrities.
“The Help Got Away With Murder” combined the titles of 2011’s “The Help” starring Spencer and Davis with the latter’s current ABC drama named “How to Get Away With Murder.”
— ✨Miss Badiane (@MissBadiane) January 9, 2017
“The Great Debaters,” Washington’s 2007 film with Nate Parker, was mixed with the actor and filmmaker’s 2016 historical drama “The Birth of a Nation” to create “The Birth of a Great Debater.”
— Man$a Mu$a (@NaijaMane) January 9, 2017
“How Stella Got Her Bodyguard Back” put the titles of Angela Bassett’s 1998 film “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and Whitney Houston’s 1992 release of “The Bodyguard” into one movie name.
— Creme DC (@shopcremedc) January 9, 2017