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‘Moonlight’ wins Best Picture after two major 2017 Oscar mix ups

‘Moonlight’ wins Best Picture after two major 2017 Oscar mix ups

'Moonlight' wins Best Picture after two major 2017 Oscar mix ups images

The Academy Awards can sometimes feel like watching paint dry, but it wasn’t political speeches that spiced things up at the 2017 Oscars Sunday night. It was two major gaffs, obviously unintended, but 89th Academy Awards broadcast will go down in film history. (Full list of winners is down below)

The last Oscar stunner wasn’t the Michael Moore acceptance speech for “Bowling for Columbine” as some will think, but in 1974, when a nude man raced across the stage flashing a peace sign. Actor David Niven was able to keep his composure with this quip, “Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”

“La La Land’s” Best Picture confused with “Moonlight” is garnering all the press attention as Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were caught in the confusion. Everything seemed like they were going with a script and that Beatty was mugging by taking a long time after opening the envelope and looking inside.

BEATTY: “The Academy Award…”

He pauses, looks at the envelope again.

BEATTY: “For best picture…”

He pauses again and looks offstage, then hands the envelope to Dunaway, who gives it a quick glance.

DUNAWAY: “La La Land.”

Nothing seems amiss as the audience applauds while the cast, producers and it seems everyone associated with “La La Land” piles onto the stage, but once Producer Marc Platt begins speaking something is definitely off. People standing behind him begin talking and looking confused, then a guy with headphones appears, and you wonder if it’s the Donald Trump ICE team checking everyone’s papers.

The producers hand over their red envelopes while Platt and Jordan Horowitz continue talking.

PLATT: “Keep dreaming, because the dreams we dream today will provide the love, compassion and the humanity that will narrate the story of our lives tomorrow.”

Fred Berger, the final talking producer, takes his turn at the microphone and speaks briefly before looking at a confused scene behind him and dryly states.

BERGER: “We lost, by the way.”

HOROWITZ: “There’s a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture. This is not a joke.”

PLATT: “This is not a joke. I’m afraid they read the wrong thing.”

HOROWITZ: “This is not a joke. ‘Moonlight’ has won best picture.”

warren beatty holding up correct moonlight win card

Jordan Horowitz retrieves the Oscar card from Beatty and holds it up. In dramatic movie fashion, the camera pans in so the words are visible: “Moonlight” has indeed won best picture. It feels like a scene from an Oscar-winning movie where the underdog comes out the winner.

Jumping into host action, Jimmy Kimmel approaches the microphone and mentions Steve Harvey, whose 2015 reading of the wrong Miss Universe winner instantly becomes the second most embarrassing awards show flub.

reaction to moonlight winning best picture oscar

KIMMEL: “Guys. This is very unfortunate what happened. Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this.”

Kimmel gives Horowitz an uncomfortable sad look.

KIMMEL: “I would like to see you get an Oscar anyway. Why can’t we just give out a whole bunch of them?”

HOROWITZ: “I’m going to be really proud to hand this to my friends at ‘Moonlight.'”

KIMMEL: “That’s nice of you.”

Beatty quickly jumps into action to explain what has happened. He’s smart enough to know rather than slink off stage in embarrassment; it’s better to just lay out the facts quickly.

BEATTY: “Hello? Hello?”

KIMMEL: “Warren, what did you do?”

BEATTY: “I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope, and it said ‘Emma Stone, La La Land.’ That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and you. I wasn’t trying to be funny.”

Meanwhile, the cast, producers and crew of “Moonlight” are standing looking very stunned and probably wondering when they get to talk. Everyone from “La La Land” is now drifting off the stage, and on cue, the camera switches to people in the audience who look dumbfounded. Matt Damon whistles. Barry Jenkins, creator of “Moonlight,” approaches the microphone.

JENKINS: “Very clearly in my dreams, this could not be true. But to hell with dreams, I’m done with it, because this is true. Oh, my goodness.”

Jenkins finishes his speech. Then Kimmel takes the microphone again.

KIMMEL: “Well, I don’t know what happened. I blame myself. … It’s just an awards show … I knew I would screw this show up. I really did … I promise I’ll never come back.”

moonlight wins best picture oscar flub

Finally, the “Moonlight” people get to speak. One thing is that this is one win they will never forget and easily pushed more recognition of the film than it would have ever gotten without the mix-up. The big question is that why did the producers of the Oscars let the “La La Land” people go on for over two minutes in speeches when it was obvious at least two people knew that the wrong film had been called out.

Accounting firm PwC (Price Waterhouse Coopers) sent out this statement several hours after the mayhem had chilled down.

“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,” a statement from the firm said. “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.”

“It’s one of the strangest things that’s ever happened to me,” Beatty said backstage. “Thank God there were two of us up there,” Dunaway responded.

The actress then asked Beatty, “Who else should I tell?”

“Everybody,” he said.

At that point, a security guard tried to take the real envelope, and Beatty said, “Security is not getting this. I’m giving it to (Moonlight director) Barry Jenkins at a later time.” Beatty also refused to show it to anyone else.

The Miss Universe Twitter account quickly let the Oscars know they felt their pain.

“Have your people call our people, we know what to do,” the tweet read.

That was the beginning of a Tweet pile-on that may be the biggest of all time, with many declaring that “La La Land” won the popular vote while “Moonlight” won the electoral college.

I have a feeling that in that moment (which it’s easy to become Monday morning quarterback on), everyone froze up not quite believing that something like this could happen. Then someone else took over and jumped in to fix the mess. That’s how this usually works out in the movies and now on an awards show about the movies. Very nice film within a film feel this year Oscars.

janet patterson memorium with wrong pictureThe other major mess up being overshadowed by the “Moonlight” first wrong call, was for Costume Designer Janet Patterson, who was part of the ‘In Memorium’ section. The name was correct on the card, but the picture was off. So, you can imagine the horror that Australian producer, Jan Chapman, must have felt seeing her image showing up on the card instead of the deceased woman’s.

“I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson. I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered. Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee, and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up,” Chapman told media outlets. “I am alive and well and an active producer.”

Chapman is one of Australia’s best-known producers with credits including “Lantana,” “Holy Smoke,” and “The Last Days of Chez Nous.” She was married to director Philip Noyce in the 1970s.

To confuse matters further, Patterson and Chapman worked together on “The Piano.”

The Academy hasn’t commented on this gaffe yet.


The full list of 2017 Academy Award Winners below (winners are bolded):




Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land


Manchester By the Sea
Moonlight – WINNER


Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)

Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)

Damien Chazelle (La La Land) – WINNER

Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By the Sea)

Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)


Casey Affleck (Manchester By the Sea) – WINNER

Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)

Ryan Gosling (La La Land)

Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)

Denzel Washington (Fences)


Isabelle Huppert (Elle)

Ruth Negga (Loving)

Emma Stone (La La Land) – WINNER

Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)


Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) – WINNER

Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)

Lucas Hedges (Manchester By the Sea)

Dev Patel (Lion)

Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)


Viola Davis (Fences) – WINNER

Naomie Harris (Moonlight)

Nicole Kidman (Lion)

Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)

Michelle Williams (Manchester By the Sea)


Hell or High Water

La La Land

The Lobster

Manchester By the Sea – WINNER

20th Century Women




Hidden Figures


Moonlight – WINNER


Land of Mine

A Man Called Ove

The Salesman – WINNER


Toni Erdmann



La La Land – WINNER





Fire at Sea

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

OJ: Made in America – WINNER




Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – WINNER

Florence Foster Jenkins


La La Land



La La Land – WINNER





Audition (La La Land)

Can’t Stop the Feeling! (Trolls)

City of Stars (La La Land)  – WINNER

The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story)

How Far I’ll Go (Moana)


Arrival – WINNER

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land




Hacksaw Ridge – WINNER

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

13 Hours



Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hail, Caesar!

La La Land – WINNER



Kubo and the Two Strings


My Life As a Zucchini

The Red Turtle

Zootopia – WINNER


Blind Vaysha

Borrowed Time

Pear Cider and Cigarettes


Piper – WINNER



Hacksaw Ridge – WINNER

Hell or High Water

La La Land



Ennemis Interieurs

La Femme et le TGV

Silent Nights




4.1 Miles


Joe’s Violin

Watani: My Homeland

The White Helmets – WINNER


Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book – WINNER

Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


A Man Called Ove

Star Trek Beyond

Suicide Squad – WINNER

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