According to a reporter from The New York Times, McDormand, who won Best Actress for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, briefly set down her golden statuette during the after party for a little friendly conversation when an unnamed man swooped in and snatched up her well-earned prize.
USA Today reports that McDormand, who had her name engraved on her Oscar earlier in the evening, "was spotted crying emotionally" outside after realizing her Oscar had gone missing. We'd probably be upset too if we spent countless hours polishing an incredible performance only to have a man come by and try to take all of the credit and validation.
Thankfully, a Wolfgang Puck photographer saw the man parading around with McDormand's freshly engraved Oscar, snapped an incriminating photo of him, and helped get the award back to its rightful owner. The thief has been arrested, a Los Angeles police spokeswoman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. Earlier on Monday, TMZ reported that the unidentified man was booked on grand theft, though that claim still remains unverified. California law categorizes grand theft of anything valued at $950 or more.
As for McDormand, her rep Simon Halls told USA Today that she didn't let the incident ruin her big night and that she celebrated her win in the most Southern California way possible.
Security at the Governors Ball are looking for this guy, who grabbed Frances McDormand’s Oscar and ran out with it. Wolfgang Puck’s photographer stopped him, got the Oscar back, and the guy disappeared back into the ball. Apparently Frances has said to let him go. #Oscars #Drama pic.twitter.com/5tlsx4Ulwt— Cara Buckley (@caraNYT) March 5, 2018
"We all have stories to tell and projects we need financed," she said during her acceptance speech. "Don't talk to us about it at your parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days, or you can come to ours, whichever suits you best, and we'll tell you all about them. I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentleman: Inclusion rider."
If those last two words were lost on you, you're not alone. Vanity Fair reports that the term, which was created by USC professor Stacy Smith and civil-rights and employment-practice attorney Kalpana Kotagal, is something actors can add to contracts to demand better representation and diversity in films.
Now, that's an Oscar-worthy idea.