Moonlight wins Best Picture after embarrassing flub

Feb 27, 2017 by Ian Evans

The 89th Academy Awards were handed out in Hollywood last night and usually the celebrities, fancy frocks and glitz is all the excitement the show needs. But an onstage error that initially saw La La Land announced as Best Picture ended up with Moonlight walking away with the big prize.

When presenter Warren Beatty opened the envelope, he hesitated for a moment, looked offstage, and then showed it to co-presenter Faye Dunaway, who was with him to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bonnie & Clyde. She immediately blurted out “La La Land!”. It was only after producers of that film began making their speeches that stage managers and the accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers joined them onstage to confirm that the winner was actually Moonlight.

Onstage, Beatty explained that when he opened the envelope it said “Emma Stone – La La Land” a category that had been awarded minutes earlier. As it turns out, the PwC accountants, standing on each side of the stage, have duplicate envelopes and Beatty was accidentally given the spare Best Actress envelope instead of Best Picture.

In one nice turn to the whole affair, producers of La La Land couldn’t have been more generous in their praise of the actual winner Moonlight.