If you tuned into the ABC channel to watch the Oscars on Sunday, February 26, then you have already heard about the mix-up that happened during during best picture. According to several articles regarding the matter including The Hollywood Reporter, a starstruck accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers handed out the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty backstage right before he announced best picture in front of the Oscars audience.
Beatty opened the envelope and paused before reading it, as he sensed something was wrong. Apparently, he was accidentally given an extra copy of Emma Stone’s best actress card by the chairman, Brian Cullinan, of PwC. Minutes before he gave Beatty the wrong card, Cullinan was caught tweeting a photo of Emma Stone backstage directly after she won best actress.
Questions arise as to why no one stepped in immediately after the wrong card was read to correct the mistake. Only after 2 minutes and 25 seconds for Horowitz to correctly state that Moonlight was the actual winner, not La La Land.
As stage managers, producers and other backstage producer’s were informed of the mishap, Gary Natoli rushed to the stage along with host Jimmy Kimmel. As the La La Land team was informed that they in fact did not win, producer Fred Burger shared some kind words about the Moonlight cast and crew as he handed over the Oscar.
Three hours after the Oscars concluded, PwC issued an apology statement to both Moonlight and La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Oscar viewers for the mistake made. The apology then goes on to mention it is investigating how that could’ve happened and that it “appreciate[s] the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.”
That following Monday, PwC issued a second apology, or “revised apology,” in which it singled Cullinan for tweeting during the event and for handing Beatty the wrong envelope.
It is unfortunate that Moonlight must share its memory of winning the Oscar for best picture with an overarching mishap such as the mix-up with La La Land. However, it cannot take away from the hard work and great achievement that goes into winning an Oscar, which Moonlight will forever have.