In a shocking twist at the end of the 2017 Academy Awards, Moonlight was awarded Best Picture moments after Warren Beatty announced La La Land as the winner.
The cast and crew of Damien Chazelle’s movie musical, including Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, were gathered on stage to collect the evening’s most prestigious prize and had given several speeches when organisers gathered on stage to inform them that the accolade had been given to the wrong recipient.
It fell to producer Jordan Horowitz to suddenly announce that it was, in fact, Moonlight which had won the award for Best Picture, waving the correct citation card to the camera to prove it. An awkward pause ensued as the La La Land team began shuffling off stage and presenter Warren Beaty stepped up to the mic to explain why he had read out the wrong winner:
“I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land. That’s why I took such a long look at Faye [Dunaway, his co-presenter] and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny. This is Moonlight – the Best Picture.”
Warren Beatty apologises for reading out the wrong winner
Stone had won the previous award for Best Actress and it appeared that the citation cards had been mixed up.
The Moonlight cast and crew then gathered on stage to accept their unexpected prize with Barry Jenkins praising the baffled La La Land team in his speech: “That was so gracious and so generous of them”.
In the ceremony’s closing moments, host Jimmy Kimmel then took to the mic and said: “I don’t know what happened – i blame myself for this. Let’s just remember, it’s just an awards show.
“I knew I would screw this show up, I really did,” he added, jokingly. “I promise I’ll never come back.”
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