It was predicted La La Land staring Emma Stone and the ever so dreamy Ryan Gosling would sweep the 2017 Academy Awards, and while Stone took home the coveted golden statue in the leading actress category, for a quick second, many believed the Damien Chazelle film won Best Picture. But behold! Steve Harvey isn’t the only one who can f*ck up big time.
In a super awkward and very embarrassing moment, two time Oscar winner Warren Beatty was joined on stage by Faye Dunaway to announce the night’s big winner. As the seasoned actor and director opened the envelope he gave Dunaway a long, puzzled look before announcing La La Land. As the room erupted into an applause and the cast and director walked to the stage, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz interrupted acceptance speeches and boldly announced an error had been made. The true winner was Moonlight.
Trevante Rhodes, who appeared visibly shocked, hugged co-star and newly minted Oscar winner Mahershal Ali once the blunder was revealed. As Barry Jenkins and the rest of the film’s cast and producers took the stage, Horowitz along with the rest of La La Land had to literally hand over the awards making the moment one of the most humbling in Oscar history.
Host Jimmy Kimmel tried to quell the mood by blaming the snafu on Steve Harvey who famously read the wrong contestant as winner for Miss Universe. However, the damage had already been done. Ali spoke with The Hollywood Reporter backstage about the mix up and said when he heard La La Land won, he figured it was the correct answer.
“La La Land has done so well and has resonated with so many people,” he said. “When their name was read, I wasn’t surprised, and I was really happy for them. When I did see security or people coming onstage and their moment was being disrupted in some way I got really worried and then when they said ‘Moonlight, you guys have won.’ It just threw me, more than a bit. I didn’t want to go up there and take anything from somebody. It’s very hard to feel joy in a moment like that … but I feel very fortunate for all of us to have walked away with the best picture award. It’s pretty remarkable.”
The flub is a first in Oscar history and will most likely go down as one of the most memorable, all for the wrong reasons. Relive the awkwardness below.