The Oscar’s Mix-Up: ‘Moonlight’ wins best-picture, but only after the ‘La La Land’ cast is called to the stage by mistake.
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On February 8, 2017, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held their Academy Awards for the 89th time. This show was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted for the first time, and included many nominees considered to be surprises by a large portion of the population.
Many people expected the victor of the Best Picture category to be La La Land, one of the most popular films of the year. Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, the stars of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, finally presented this award at the end of the ceremony. When they opened the envelope they were given containing the winning movie, a look of confusion and panic was seen to flow over Beatty, and then nervously, he presented the card to Dunaway, who said that the winner is La La Land.
The cast and crew of La La Land were brought onto the stage and presented with their awards, and started to give their thank-you speeches. In the background, some of the crewmembers were seen scuffling about in a dazed manner. Finally, at the end of his speech, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz said that they, in fact, lost the award. Beatty returned and informed the audience that the real winner of the Best Picture Award was actually Moonlight.
At this point, the awards that had been given to the men and women behind La La Land had to be retracted, and were passed over to the creative minds behind the real Best Picture of 2016. Beatty came back on the mic to say that the card he had received had “Emma Stone: La La Land” written on it, and he explained that this was the reason for the confused look on his face and the long pause before he said anything.
The Moonlight production team commenced with their speeches, all acknowledging La La Land. The La La Land representatives were all beyond courteous, many even saying that they agreed with the decision before they got off the stage, and none of them openly expressed anger before leaving the stage.
What happened was that Dunaway and Beatty had been given a duplicate of the envelope for the Best Actress award, resulting in the mix-up. Brian Cullinan, one of the employees of Price Waterhouse and Coopers, who have managed the past 83 ceremonies, made the mistake when he was distracted when composing a tweet. The president of PwC, Cheryl Boone Isaac, said Cullinan, as well as Martha Ruiz who was also partly responsible, have been barred from participating in any future Academy Awards dealings. Price Waterhouse and Coopers, however, will continue to manage the event until further notice.