In the biggest screw up in Oscars history, the producers of “La La Land” had to hand over their Best Picture Oscars to “Moonlight,” doing so with grace and humility.
“This is not a joke. ‘Moonlight’ has won best picture,” said “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz, after the “La La Land” team had already given their acceptance speeches. The musical team quickly welcomed director Barry Jenkins and the stars of the film onstage, letting them have their own Best Picture moment.
Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney previously won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, a historic win that made them the fourth and fifth black honorees of the night, setting an all-time record.
Warren Beatty, who had announced the award with Faye Dunaway, tried to explain what had gone wrong when they mistakenly read “La La Land” as the winner. It seemed that they had been handed an envelope containing the name of Best Actress winner Emma Stone.
“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 him for the mistake: “Warren, what did you DO?”