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The Wrong Best Picture Getting Announced Made the Oscars Almost Interesting

Veteran actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced the winner was "La La Land" not "Moonlight."

by VICE Staff
Feb 27 2017, 1:35pm

Live TV, ladies and gentlemen. In what will go down as one of the biggest gaffes in Academy Award history, veteran actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land had won Best Picture. The actual winner was Barry Jenkins' Moonlight—a critical darling few thought the Academy would actually give the top gong to.

As the La La Land cast and crew took the stage, producer Fred Berger's victory speech was interrupted by a very sheepish looking Beatty. Co-producer Jordan Horowitz cut in, telling the shocked crowd, "Moonlight you won Best Picture... This is not a joke." He welcomed Moonlight up on stage to collect the award.

Trying to lighten the mood, host Jimmy Kimmel shouted, "Warren, what have you done?" as the Moonlight cast made their way on stage. Beatty defended himself, clarifying he and Faye Dunaway had been handed the wrong envelope, which read "Emma Stone, La La Land."

Watch the whole thing play out below:

It was the first big shock in a night that played out very much to plan. La La Land, which was nominated for 14 awards, took out Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, and Best Actress for Emma Stone. Damien Chazelle also won Best Director—the youngest person to ever get the award at just 32 years old.

Moonlight, which was nominated for eight awards, ended up going home with three: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, and, evidently, Best Picture. The night's other big awards went to Casey Affleck, Best Actor for Manchester By the Sea, and Viola Davies—who took out Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fences.