Shock and chaos spread when producers of "La La Land" were stopped in the middle of their acceptance speeches to be informed that the announcer of the award, Warren Beatty, had incorrectly read "La La Land" as the winner.
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A blushing Beatty immediately explained how the mix-up occurred.
"I wasn't trying to be funny," he said, saying he had seen the name Emma Stone from "La La Land" when he opened his envelope.
Following the show, PricewaterhouseCoopers issued a statement apologizing for the mishap.
"We sincerely apologize to 'Moonlight,' 'La La Land,' Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation."
Host Jimmy Kimmel confirmed that "Moonlight" had indeed won, showing the inside of the envelope as proof. He joked, "I knew I would screw this up."
"La La Land" producer Jordan Horowitz graciously passed his statue to the "Moonlight" producers and cast.
"I feel compassion for those guys for handing the award over, you know. We spent so much time together, you know, you almost want it to be like middle school where everybody gets a trophy...so, in the moment, I was like, 'Yeah, of course,' you know, I was glad that they got to celebrate," said "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins at the Governors Ball after party.
In the wake of one of the biggest mix-ups in Oscar history, 2017's Best Supporting Actor winner Mahershala Ali graciously addressed the issue in the press room following the awards.
"You know, 'La La Land' has done so well and has resonated with so many people especially in this time when people need a sense of buoyancy in their life and need some hope and light," Ali said, praising the film that was mistakenly read out as Best Picture by Faye Dunaway. "So that film has really impacted people sort of in a very different way than 'Moonlight' so when their name was read I wasn't really surprised."
He went on to talk about his joy for the cast and crew of "La La Land" and their accomplishments.
The Oakland-born actor then described the shock, "When I did see security people coming out on stage and their moment was being disrupted in some way I got really worried."
The Northern California native shared his apprehensions about accepting the award after the mistake, "I didn't want to go up there and take something from somebody," he said. "It's very hard to feel joy in a moment like that you know, but because somebody else -- it's in front of them, but I feel very fortunate for all of us to have walked away with the Best Picture award. It's pretty remarkable."
"La La Land" went home with five awards including Best Actress for Emma Stone and Best Direction for Damien Chazelle.