Well, it is sure bet to say that you all saw it last night when Faye Dunaway wrongly declared La La Land the best picture winner over Moonlight at Sunday night’s 89th Academy Awards. When this moment occurred, you could hear the stage manager panicking “Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!” while the La La Land team took the stage to accept the night’s final award, “They read the wrong envelope!” Yes, that is exactly what happened last night, and the entire world got to know about this!
To at least try to remedy this problem, almost three hours after the debacle, Price Waterhouse Coopers (accounting firm that counts the Oscar votes) issued an apology which was then sent out by the Academy. The apology reads “We sincerely apologize to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and the Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for best picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.”
Immediate after the gaffe, as he exited the stage, it was apparent that Beatty wasn’t happy at all. “Much respect, sir, much respect” was a thing that was said to him by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. After that, the Stage Manager – Gary Natoli approached to Beatty saying “Security would like the envelopes, Mr. Beatty.” Beatty responded, “I’m holding onto them, I’ll give them to Barry Jenkins at an appropriate moment.”
Oscars producer Jennifer Todd, naturally wanted some answers because she couldn’t believe that “…they both read the wrong thing?” That was resolved during the telecast when Beatty returned to the stage to explain that he read from the second of two envelopes announcing Emma Stone’s best actress win, just before he handed the wrong envelope over to Dunaway.
To further make that clear, you must know that the Price Waterhouse Coopers (the firm that administers the awards) prints two announcements per category for security reasons. Stone said she still had hers in hand as the scene unfolded. She even stated for the People “I think everyone’s in a state of confusion still. Excitement but confusion. I think everyone is just so excited for Moonlight. It’s such an incredible film.”
Kimmel gave a statement as well saying “I don’t know what just happened, but I should probably find out, because people are gonna be asking.” Barry Jenkins talked to the reporters backstage, and he said it was given no explanation, but he actually managed to see the questionable card. He stated “Things just happen, I will say, I saw two cards. And so, things just happen. I wanted to see the card. Warren refused to show the card to anybody before he showed it to me. And so he did. He came upstairs and he walked over to me, and he showed the card. And everybody was asking, “Can I see the card”? And he’s like, “no, Barry Jenkins has to see the card, I need him to know.” And he showed it to me. I felt better about what happened.”
Academy Awards producer Mike DeLuca was also baffled and as he waited for an elevator stated for Vanity Fair “I’m gonna leave it to the Academy to comment. I still don’t know what happened.” Dunaway was also caught, and after the show, at the Governor’s Ball, she told The Hollywood Reporter that she would not comment on the matter. On the other hand, Beatty explained this to L.A. Times “I looked down at the card and thought, this is very strange, because it says best actress. Maybe there was a misprint. I don’t know what happened. And that’s all I have to say on the subject”.
While this is all behind us, the story regarding the matter will continue to develop further, and until we get to the bottom of this confusion we will continue to report to you! Stay tuned.