It was the mistake seen ‘round the world: La La Land was announced as Best Picture and faster than the award was handed out it was taken away and given to Moonlight, the film that was the real Best Picture winner the entire time.
Controversy is currently swirling around Hollywood as to what actually happened at the 2017 Oscars. Warren Beatty, the presenter of the award, gave an explanation after the mishap, saying he received the wrong envelope — a fact that ABC News corroborated on Twitter with zoomed-in evidence proving that Beatty was indeed holding the Best Actress envelope when he was on stage.
Further complicating the matter is Best Actress winner Emma Stone’s statements in the post-ceremony media room, where she insisted that she was holding her Best Actress card the entire time.
Further details on the mix up are sure to emerge overnight. But according to the LA Times, we know that there are in fact two sets of envelopes and winner cards present on the Oscars stage, so it is entirely possible that Beatty got a hold of the wrong card (exactly how that happened remains unanswered) and Stone is telling the truth.
LAT writer Valli Herman wrote in a 2016 story, “In an undisclosed location, the partners tabulate votes and stuff two sets of winning envelopes, partly as another security measure and also to aid the show’s flow. Stationed with their signature briefcases on opposite sides of the stage, either [PricewaterhouseCoopers partners, Brian] Cullinan or [Martha] Ruiz can dispense envelopes to presenters. At the end of the evening, each accountant will have given out about half of the envelopes.”
The mystery rolls on.