The 89th Annual Academy Awards started off promisingly enough, Mahershala Ali took home the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his work in Moonlight (the first Muslim actor EVER to do so). Queen Viola Davis also snagged an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Fences, and Moonlight scribe Tarell Alvin McCraney and Director Barry Jenkins took home the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Everything was going pretty well, especially when we got introduced to Gary from Chicago, but then the biggest awards of the night were announced.
For the final award of the evening, veteran actors Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty took to the stage to announce the Best Picture of the year. After reading the envelope, Beatty looked a tad confused, but Dunaway went ahead and announced the Best Picture winner as La La Land. That’s when things started to get weird AF. In a bizarre turn of events, as the producers for La La Land were making their acceptance speeches an Academy Awards producer scurried onto the stage to say that there had been a HUGE error.
And the winner is … ‘Moonlight’ — not ‘La La Land’ https://t.co/YXHKXkqfUq #Oscars pic.twitter.com/Ihkbwco3qc
— New York Times Video (@nytvideo) February 27, 2017
Apparently, someone handed Warren Beatty the envelope for Best Actress, which went to La La Land star Emma Stone earlier in the evening. Though the snafu was cleared up, it still took away the initial shine for the cast of Moonlight, which is annoying and unfair. It was also awkward AF that the La La Land producers kept thanking people after they KNEW they’d lost. #BoyBye
Watching the #Oscars producers slowly tell the #LaLaLand team they didn’t win Best Picture is WILD. Keep your eyes on the background pic.twitter.com/3TRUWZAMjH
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) February 27, 2017
Anyway, the fact of the matter is that Moonlight is the Best Picture of the year and that win is historic. It’s the second film in Oscar’s history with an all-Black cast to win Best Picture (2013’s 12 Years A Slave was first) and, it’s also the first LGBTQ film to win Best Picture. We just wish the film’s stunning win was not marred by a ridiculous mix-up that has NEVER HAPPENED before in the history of the Academy Awards.
This morning, PricewaterhouseCoopers the accounting firm that handles the Oscar ballots released a statement saying,
“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.
STILL SPEECHLESS pic.twitter.com/qe3NUDWAHM
— Barry Jenkins (@BandryBarry) February 27, 2017
It looks like somebody won’t be invited back to do the awards next year. Anyway, congrats to Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Mahershala Ali and the cast of Moonlight. Y’all deserve it.