What Happened at the Oscars Last Year?
Didn't see the big Moonlight Best Picture mistake happen in real time during the Oscars 2017? Here’s everything you missed—and need to know right now.
It was the Oscars 2017. Everyone was dressed to the nines and legendary actors Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were on stage in honor of Bonnie and Clyde's 50th anniversary, about to give out the Academy Award for Best Picture. The duo opened the envelope—and the rest went down in history. However, if you weren’t watching the show (and weren’t on social media as it went down), you might have missed what happened at the Oscars last year, so let’s do a quick recap of the Moonlight Best Picture mistake.
Beatty was supposed to announce the winner, but after he opened and read the winner of the envelope, he had to take a pause and confer with his co-presenter. Dunaway, who thought he was just trying to be funny, took the envelope and read aloud that the winner for Best Picture 2017 was La La Land.
The crew and cast of La La Land took the stage and producer Jordan Horowitz, began an acceptance speech on behalf of the film. However, as he spoke, there was shuffling on the stage behind him and something was clearly wrong. What actually happened at the Oscars? Someone from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (the business that manages tallying the Oscar ballots and keeping the winners secret until they’re announced on stage) had handed the pair the wrong envelope. So when La La Land was announced as best picture, Dunaway was reading the card for Emma Stone’s Best Actress win. The real winner was Moonlight, and after being given the correct envelope and card, Horowitz went back to the microphone and said, “There’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke.” He held up the envelope to the camera so the audience could see that Moonlight had actually won the Oscar for Best Picture, and that a mistake had been made. Producers Adele Romanski and Jeremy Kleiner and director Barry Jenkins took the stage with their cast and crew, and gave elegant and humble speeches amid the awkwardness.
Will there be another big mix-up at the Oscars this year? Tune in this Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST on ABC to see!