In an epic mix-up, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented the Oscar for Best Picture, but they initially awarded it to the wrong film!
The co-stars from the 1967 classic “Bonnie and Clyde” were set to announce the last award of the evening, the Best Picture winner, when things got a little confusing. Once he was ready to read the winner’s name, Beatty took a pause that Dunaway interpreted as him joking around. Befuddled, he looked at Dunaway, and when he seemed to take too long to read the name, she glanced at the card and said, “'La La Land.'”
In the next moments, the cast and crew of “La La Land” took to the stage in celebration and started giving their acceptance speeches. Mid-celebration, confusion ensued onstage, with figures rushing back and forth, until “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz announced, “There’s been a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke."
Beatty immediately explained, “I wasn’t trying to be funny.” He went on to say that the card inside the envelope they’d been given actually read, “Emma Stone, ‘La La Land.’” Horowitz held up the correct card to prove “Moonlight” was the actual winner so that the film's producers could accept their award. Horowitz said, "I'm going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from ‘Moonlight.’”
“Moonlight's” producers were finally able to make their stunned acceptance speeches.
Host Jimmy Kimmel quipped, in closing, “I knew I would screw this show up — I really did.” He then joked that he would never return as host.
In the press room post-Oscars, Emma Stone revealed, “I was holding the Best Actress card the entire time. I had that card. I’m not looking to start anything. I don’t know what happened, but I wanted to tell all of you first.”
On Monday morning, the accounting firm that handles the winning Oscars envelopes, PricewatershouseCoopers, apologized for the big mistake. In a statement to "Extra," the firm said, “We sincerely apologize to 'Moonlight,' 'La La Land,' Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and 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, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation."