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Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar Selfie refers to a group selfie taken by Ellen Degeneres along with numerous Hollywood celebrities at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony in an attempt to make the most retweeted photo of all time. Shortly after Degenres tweeted the selfie, the image went viral and spawned a handful of photoshopped parodies featuring other actors and meme characters.
During the Academy Awards ceremony on March 2nd, 2014, American talk show host and the host of the ceremony, Ellen DeGeneres, approached renowned actress Meryl Streep for a photo opportunity in an attempt to break the record for most retweeted photo, a title previously held by a photo of President Obama and the first lady embracing tweeted after his re-election in November 2012. As DeGeneres and Streep prepared to take the photo, other actors in the audience jumped in to photobomb the photo, which resulted in a supergroup selfie featuring DeGeneres, Streep, Jared Leto, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Lupita N’yongo and her brother, Kevin Spacey, Channing Tatum, and Angelina Jolie.
After a short delay due to her hosting duties, she tweeted the photo at 10:06 PM EST that night.
If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars pic.twitter.com/C9U5NOtGap— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 2, 2014
Within three minutes of Degeneres’ tweet, the photo had gained over 80,000 retweets. The intense retweeting crashed Twitter shortly after the image emerged online, with service reportedly disrupted for at least 20 minutes. At 10:40 p.m., the photo broke the record for most retweets, and at 11:05 p.m., it became the first tweet to be retweeted over 1 million times. As of March 5rd, the picture has been retweeted over 3.25 million times. The photo and its record breaking rise was reported on many websites such as TIME and USA Today.
The record breaking tweet inspired many others to go after the title, including the more successful late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel and Texas resident Terry Shipman.
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) March 3, 2014
Let's see if we can beat the Oscar re-tweets! pic.twitter.com/hke2BbcUJb
— Terry Shipman (@terry_shipman) March 4, 2014
Within hours, parodies of Degeneres’ Oscars selfie began to emerge on Twitter and Tumblr, such as that-guard-girl’sDoge parody (top right), youarecaliforniabeautiful all-Ellen facebombing (top middle), @GurdeepA’sRob Ford’s photobomb (bottom left), sheriarstiel’sLeonardo DiCaprio’s sad facebombing (bottom middle), sznupipls’s Pope photobomb (bottom right), and funnyordie’s Kevin Spacey facebombing (top left).
It wasn’t long before the internet questioned the intent of the selfie moment due to the means of the photograph being taken. Many noticed that the phone being used for the photo attempt was the unreleased Note 3 which is in production by Samsung, the year’s sponsors of the Oscars, and instead pointed out that this was just a mass advertisement. As some media outlets pointed out, the live onstage selfies were made with a Samsung branded phone, yet most of the Host’s backstage tweets were published using Twitter for iPhone.