Most famous selfie in the world posted by Ellen DeGeneres on Twitter
Published 04/03/2014 | 02:30
It was the talk of the Oscars 2014. Not whether '12 Years A Slave' was a better film than 'Gravity', or how it was that 'American Hustle' got no gong at all, or if Leonardo DiCaprio will ever manage to win one. No, it was a selfie – possibly the "most famous selfie in the world".
Certainly, it lived up to that billing, featuring as it did a clutch of some of the most famous actors in the world – Meryl Streep, check; Julia Roberts, check; Jennifer Lawrence, check; Brads Pitt and Cooper, double check; Kevin Spacey, check; Channing Tatum, check.
And then, the finishing touch: squeezing into shot along with these A-listers, an unknown young Kenyan.
He turned out to be the brother of Lupita Nyong'o, who won the award for best supporting actress for '12 Years A Slave'. Commenting later on her sibling's unexpected star turn, she said: "I think that's his win for sure. He got into the most famous selfie in the world. I'm glad I could have facilitated that."
It may seem odd that a poorly framed, slightly blurry, group portrait taken on a smartphone should have generated more buzz than the Oscars themselves.
It was engineered by Ellen DeGeneres, the host of Tinsel Town's annual star-fest. She had joked early on in the evening how she wanted to create the most popular selfie of all time at the Oscars.
So when she stepped off stage – wielding her phone or to be technically correct her "phablet", she headed for the most nominated Oscar actor of all time: Meryl Streep, who has 18 nods to her name. Streep giggled and acquiesced.
Within seconds, DeGeneres had hustled in other front-row luminaries, capturing a snap of a Hollywood elite, with 10 Oscars.
Then, DeGeneres tweeted the picture. Within a few hours it had been retweeted by more than 2.5 million people, creating a new record for the microblogging site.
In truth this selfie was stage-managed by Samsung, one of the sponsors of the Academy Awards ceremony and a company keen to overtake Apple in America.
Eagle-eyed viewers would have spotted DeGeneres's device was a Samsung Note 3.
Even sharper viewers would have noticed that in shots taken backstage she had reverted to her iPhone.