The Academy Awards had a shocking twist ending on Sunday night.
Viewers were as surprised as the clueless tour bus guests being pranked by host Jimmy Kimmel as they walked into the 89th annual Academy Awards show on Sunday.
The final award of the evening, “Best Picture” was presented by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. Only the name in the envelope wasn’t really the victor.
Dunaway, thinking Beatty’s extended pause was a ruse, impatiently read “La La Land,” as the winner, but during the film makers acceptance speech the ceremony came to a grinding halt when Beatty reappeared saying there was a mistake and “Moonlight” was actually the winner.
This sent out waves of shock through the crowd. And the embarrassed “La La Land” crew scrambled to make sense of the whole thing.
The mistake was vaguely explained as a mix-up of Best Actress cards. The "Bonnie and Clyde" actors had actually gotten ahold of Emma Stone's winning envelope.
Meanwhile the “Moonlight” team took to the stage reeling from the shock and expressed their immense gratitude.
To make matters even more confusing, Emma Stone, during a media junket claims she had her winning card with her the whole time.
"I also was holding my Best Actress in a Leading Role card the whole time. I’m not sure what happened” Stone told reporters, “I think everyone’s in a state of confusion still. Excitement but confusion. I think everyone is just so excited for Moonlight. It’s such an incredible film.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), responsible for the ballots sent out the following statement just hours after the mistake.
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.
In any event, many viewers and social media subscribers were happy that the evening ended as it did; not about the embarrassing snafu, but a groundbreaking LGBT film such as "Moonlight," took home the coveted prize.
Here is a list of other noteworthy recipients:
Actor: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Actress: Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, “Fences”
Direction: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”