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‘La La Land’ Mistakenly Announced Over ‘Moonlight’ As Best Picture: Reactions

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight won Best Picture at the 89th Annual Academy Awards tonight (February 26), but — in an odd, unprecedented and epically awkward mistake— a fumbling Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway initially announced La La Land as the winner.

The producers of the Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling musical were already well into their acceptance speeches (one had just thanked his “blue-eyed wife”) when Warren Beatty and La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz informed the audience of the error.

And so it was that one movie’s cast and crew vacated the stage as director Barry Jenkins, actress Janelle Monae and the rest of Moonlight‘s cast and crew walked on, hugging tearily in the background as Beatty insisted on cutting into their acceptance time with his explanation of what had happened: He said he was thinking of Emma Stone’s La La Land Best Actress win, and that his eyes misread/just kind of decided her movie also won the night’s top honor. Other theories (and at just after midnight, we’re honestly still unpacking this) have Beatty literally receiving the wrong envelope and/or covering for Faye Dunaway, who actually announced the erroneous “win.” Either way: Get off the stage and let this cast and crew finally have their moment, Warren!

The strange moment that was clearly disappointing for La La Land, and muted what would have been an even more powerful moment for Moonlight, a film that tenderly addresses a long-underrepresented subject — queer black men growing up in America, navigating love, safety and belonging — and also launched Best Supporting Actor winner Mahershala Ali’s career into the upper echelon of Hollywood. All in all, the Oscars’ final act was a mess.

Check out reactions from celebrities, including Katy Perry, below, as well as many of the viewers who were just as shocked as we were. But we’re very happy for Moonlight, at least!

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Next: 'Moonlight' Wins Best Picture After Awkward, Horrendous Flub

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