Warren Beatty had some explaining to do Sunday after he and co-presenter Faye Dunaway made perhaps the biggest flub in awards show history, erroneously naming “La La Land” the Oscar’s Best Picture instead of the real winner, “Moonlight.”
Oscar accounting firm PwC eventually took the blame for the error, but this one will fuel conspiracy theories for years. Beatty explained, and PwC later confirmed, that he and Dunaway had been handed an envelope containing the name of “La La Land” star Emma Stone, the Best Actress winner, wrongly took it to mean “La La Land” had won Best Picture.
“I want to tell you what happened,” he said. “I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, ‘La La Land.’ That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny.”
Host Jimmy Kimmel jokingly blamed Beatty for the mistake: “Warren, what did you DO?” he exclaimed.
“This is not a joke. ‘Moonlight’ has won best picture,” said “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz, after the “La La Land” team had given acceptance speeches.
“This is very unfortunate what happened. Personally I blame Steve Harvey for this,” Kimmel said, with a very quick ad-lib about a past Miss Universe ceremony mess-up on Harvey’s part.
At least Beatty’s sister, Shirley MacLaine, had a good night: She was one of the highlights of the show as she presented an award with Charlize Theron, who named her as an early inspiration.
Re-watch the entire incident here: