And the Oscar for biggest flub in award show history goes to...the 89th Academy Awards.
The Oscars ended Sunday night with a giant gaffe after actors Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty accidentally read La La Land as the Best Picture winner, before having to correct themselves and give the award to the actual winner, Moonlight.
Viewers and celebrities in the audience were stunned when La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz interrupted his team's acceptance speeches, alongside host Jimmy Kimmel, to abruptly say, "There's a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture." While many thought it was an elaborate joke plotted by prankster Kimmel or a way for Horowitz to honor Moonlight for its acclaimed work, it was quickly shown that Moonlight did indeed get the Academy's highest accolade. The producer flashed the envelope on screen for several seconds to demonstrate Barry Jenkins' touching coming-of-age story had actually taken the industry's biggest prize.
The cast and producers of La La Land then quickly exited the stage as shocked Moonlight stars climbed on stage to take their confused bows. "Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true," Jenkins said during his second acceptance speech of the night. “It is true. It’s not fake."
Beatty and Dunaway originally presented the Best Picture award, on the 50th anniversary of their classic Bonnie & Clyde, but Beatty seemed confused when he opened the envelope, pausing and re-reading its contents many times before Dunaway announcing for him that La La Land had won. Many assumed the actor was doing a bit, but he later returned to the stage to explain the mix-up. Beatty said that the envelope he opened said "Emma Stone, La La Land"—apparently he was given a duplicate envelope from Stone's earlier win for Best Actress—and assumed it meant the film had also won for Best Picture.
This was the first time in Academy Awards history that there a mistake of this magnitude. Of course, it provided the Internet with the perfect fodder to mock the situation, with most, including host Jimmy Kimmel comparing it to Steve Harvey's similar mistake during December 2015's Miss Universe pageant.
It wasn't much of a shock when La La Land was first announced as the winner. The glitzy film about dreamers had been oddsmakers' favorite going into the ceremony, so Moonlight's win would've been something of an upset; La La Land's director Damien Chazelle had taken the Best Director prize earlier in the evening. But Beatty and Dunaway's error jolted what had been an otherwise predictable ceremony that saw many presumed winners make acceptance speeches.
In the end, La La Land—which earned a record-tying 14 nominations—took home six Oscars Sunday night, while Moonlight snagged a total of three, including Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali and Best Adapted Screenplay for Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney.
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