If you’re just catching up to it this morning, La La Land was mistakenly announced the Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards last night, but as the producers of La La Land were giving their speeches, a stagehand realized a mistake had been made. Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty had announced the wrong film; in fact, Moonlight was the winner. Here’s video footage of the moment:
The world reacted with confusion and glee and anger and laughter. For an Oscar ceremony that felt more bloated than usual in the middle, it was a terrific twist ending that left dozens of media outlets pulling their tweets and issuing corrections.
Here’s exactly what happened. During the announcement, Warren Beatty was given the wrong card. He was given the card for Emma Stone’s Best Actress win, and he looked confused as he was trying to announce the winner. He looked at his co-announcer, Faye Dunaway, and he looked to the audience, before Dunaway simply read the name of the movie on the card, La La Land.
Some people, including Emma Stone, didn’t originally believe that excuse, as she explained backstage while praising the hell out of Moonlight.
Emma Stone backstage said SHE HAD HER CARD THE WHOLE TIME!!! pic.twitter.com/WecMyquaGp— Marc (@MarcSnetiker) February 27, 2017
Meanwhile, Ryan Gosling’s onstage reaction to the whole thing was absolutely priceless.
There was initially some suggestion on Twitter of foul play because it was apparent, but it was all an innocent mistake.
When you read that Emma had the card but Warren opened the card but Leo handed the card to Warren but who handed the card to Leo? pic.twitter.com/Ol35wNIkoc— ａｍｉ (@ghostamii) February 27, 2017
There are TWO cards for every winner, and the stage hand had merely accidentally given Beatty and Dunaway the duplicate card for the Best Actress winner.
Accountants from PriceWaterhouse stand on opposite ends of stage with an identical bag of envelopes - surprised this hasn't happened before. https://t.co/1vYjP2u8io— Yashar (@yashar) February 27, 2017
For a few minutes, Twitter blamed Warren Beatty (instead of Dunaway, who read the wrong card).
Shocking how Dunaway is getting off the hook here. She called it out after assuming WB was doing some gag. He even looks offstage for help— Geoff Foster (@gwfost) February 27, 2017
But it wasn’t Beatty’s fault.
He wasn't even gonna read it y'all. Warren Beatty woke af.— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) February 27, 2017
It wasn’t Matt Damon’s fault, either.
10 minutes earlier: Matt Damon hands the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty in an effort to ruin Jimmy Kimmel's awards show #Oscars— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) February 27, 2017
It might have been M. Night Shyamalan’s fault.
I wrote the ending of the academy awards 2017. @jimmykimmel we really got them!— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) February 27, 2017
The real hero of the whole ordeal — besides Barry Jenkins, the rightful winner of Best Picture — was Jordan Horowitz, the La La Land producer who stopped everything to hand the award to Moonlight.
this white man is invited to the cookout for the rest of his life pic.twitter.com/QjAzzBB3TZ— Jazmine Hughes (@jazzedloon) February 27, 2017
Not to be overlooked — @jehorowitz just handled a complete train wreck with dignity and grace on the biggest stage in the world.— Seth Grahame-Smith (@sethgs) February 27, 2017
Jordan Horowitz. Wow. I'm slipping slowly into reflection, perspective. Much respect to that dude— Barry Jenkins (@BandryBarry) February 27, 2017
Thank you, Barry. Congratulations and much love. ❤ https://t.co/BSwk9T6Si4— Jordan Horowitz (@jehorowitz) February 27, 2017
It was, in a weird way, a redeeming moment for La La Land, which had been suffering from month-long backlash. When it was announced as winner, there was a collective sigh of exasperation heard around social media, but this? This put La La Land back in our good graces, while Moonlight still got its deserved Best Picture title.
The cock-up is so cataclysmic that it sets both films free from awards season. It's now easier than ever to love them for what they are.— Robbie Collin (@robbiereviews) February 27, 2017
This is the real Best Picture. pic.twitter.com/07DnIOFvnW— Vikram Murthi (@fauxbeatpoet) February 27, 2017
Me too guys… pic.twitter.com/d9hlaw3ZFb— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) February 27, 2017
A smiling Andre and Trevante for you all on this wonderful night. pic.twitter.com/WWWqIxluHN— Rebecca Pahle (@RebeccaPahle) February 27, 2017
The entire ordeal couldn’t escape without one goat, however. That was the white dude from La La Land who continued to deliver his speech even after he knew that he’s lost.
This dude *knew* he lost but was like fuck it I'm gonna keep playing along. Peak caucasity. pic.twitter.com/YsLDopaNBy— Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) February 27, 2017
But, all’s well that ends well.
A film about gay black love won best picture. Im so in love with the 'out of touch liberals' in my industry. 💖 https://t.co/qZYHgXQPvz— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) February 27, 2017