Gala

Night of protest and con­fu­sion

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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

Reuters; AFP

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.

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