Night of protest and confusion
Coming-of-age drama Moonlight won the coveted best picture statuette at Sunday’s Oscars, but the evening ended in chaos when La La Land – already the winner of six prizes – was mistakenly handed the award.
Hollywood’s biggest night had run smoothly, marked by jokes from charismatic host Jimmy Kimmel and plenty of political statements, mainly jabs at United States president Donald Trump.
But the epic blunder over the final award of the night, the biggest of them all, was a nightmare Hollywood ending.
Acting legends Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, stars of the 1967 crime classic Bonnie and Clyde, should have announced director Barry Jenkins’s film as Best Picture. Instead, after Beatty stared at the card in confusion for a few seconds, he passed it to Dunaway who mistakenly announced Damien Chazelle’s musical had won. Scenes of chaos and embarrassment followed as the cast and crew of La La Land marched onto the stage and started giving acceptance speeches before they were halted by Oscars organis- ers, and then announced that Moonlight was the real winner, prompting Beatty to mumble apologies.
The 79- year- old Oscar- winning actor and director said he had been given the wrong envelope – one containing a card announcing La La Land star Emma Stone’s Best Actress win.
Stone later said she had kept hold of her winning envelope, which she was handed as she accepted her award. Slowed-down footage of the commotion appeared to back up Beatty’s explanation that he had a duplicate. Some reports suggested two sets of envelopes are produced for the ceremony, with one kept on each side of the stage.
“This was confusing, obviously, so ... we thought he was being coy and cute and milking it but, in reality, he was perplexed by why her name was on it,” Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel said after the show.
“I noticed the commotion and thought something was strange – and then I was speechless by the result,” said Jenkins, who also won best adapted screenplay.
Moonlight was a surprise Best Picture winner, after Chazelle’s La La Land
The cast and crew of Moonlight, presenter Warren Beatty, centre, and Jimmy Kimmel, left, are shocked to learn the film won Best Picture, and not La La Land. Below, left to right, Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali, Best Actress Emma Stone, Best Supporting Actress Viola Davis, and Best Actor Casey Affleck.