For better or worse, it’s safe to say that the 89th Annual Academy Awards will forever be remembered for the shocking mix-up that saw La La Land mistakenly crowned Best Picture over Moonlight.
The moment is sure to go down in the history books, as everyone in the auditorium gradually realised that a massive mistake had been made.
As producers ran on stage to sort out the snafu, and La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz took the mic again to definitively announce that Moonlight had won, the reactions of the celebs in the crowd were captured by The Los Angeles Times.
Michelle Williams, Busy Philipps and Matt Damon can be seen with their jaws dropped in shock, while Salma Hayek, The Rock and Meryl Streep’s eyes are glued to the stage in utter confusion.
It has now emerged that Warren Beatty, who was presenting the prestigious award alongside Faye Dunaway, was given the wrong envelope – resulting in Faye announcing that La La Land had won when it should have been Moonlight.
Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who are responsible for tallying the votes and placing them in sealed envelopes to be given to presenters, have acknowledged their responsibility for the mix-up.
According to an explanation offered up by the company’s U.S. chairman, Tim Ryan, PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Brian Cullinan pulled the envelope for what was meant to be Best Picture from the backup pile for Best Actress instead and gave it to Warren.
On stage, the veteran actor appeared visibly confused and hesitated for a long time before handing over the envelope to Faye, who saw La La Land printed alongside Emma Stone’s name and announced it as the winner.
“We clearly made a mistake and once the mistake was made we corrected it and owned up to it,” Ryan said, chalking the incident up to “human error”.
“[Brian] feels very, very terrible and horrible. He is very upset about this mistake. And it is also my mistake, our mistake, and we all feel very bad,” he continued.
Unsurprisingly, the moment drew a large range of reactions from Hollywood and those watching along with the ceremony on social media.